Purple Sweet Potatoes

They are back.

The elusive, the mythical, the one other time I found them I spent 20 dollars on them. Purple sweet potatoes;)

The last time they were at Kroger was around Thanksgiving. THANKSGIVING. That is quite a long time to go without such a fantastic food.

Naturally, I bought every single one that I could find at Kroger. They are currently sitting in my fridge, just waiting to be devoured.

For those of you who have never had a purple sweet potato, they are like a sweet potato, but better. They are denser, sweeter, and look much cooler. THEY ARE NOT THE BULK PURPLE POTATOES. Purple potatoes and purple sweet potatoes are two very different things. One is sweet, the other just tastes like a potato, plus it turns blue after you cook it. Imposter.

My favorite way to enjoy these babies is baked in the oven at 400F for one hour. After that I smother it with peanut butter and cinnamon. It warms me up, which is something MUCH NEEDED after the current snowstorm which had trapped me in my house, and it is such a treat.

Perfectttttttttt

Perfectttttttttt

Have you guys ever had the wonderful privilege of having a purple sweet potato??

Weird Food Combos I Love

We all have those things we love that send people into spirals. “You eat what?” or “You actually wear those??
I always try to be polite, address these concerns with a smile, and then continue right along, because I eat yummy food and wear fabulous socks:)
I will admit that some things I eat are decidedly strange. Not foul, just plain weird.
My latest obsession is a whim that that turned into breakfast this past week.
This sounds insane, but an oatmeal topped potato. Yup. Oatmeal on top of a baked potato.

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Above is a potato stuffed with cocoa oatmeal, buttered up with PB&Co Spicy Peanut Butter, and a crushed up Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cup.

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This one was the potato-oatmeal combo that sparked it all. Berry Oats, stuffed in a sweet potato, topped with berries and some cashew butter.

Another thing I love? Zucchini. I stick it in EVERYTHING. And trust me, I get looks.

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Overnight oats complete with my little green friend. Stuffed in a trader joes peanut butter jar, of course (they have the BEST peanut butter!).

Another weird love?

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Squash. I throw it on everything. Yogurt, oatmeal, mug-cakes. I eat it plain, topped with peanut butter, with some hummus, some salsa, or in a salad.
And yes, I am extremely orange:)

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What are some of your weird obsessions?

Puffed Wheat Parfait for National Peanut Butter Day!

Yesterday, while searching for some steal cut oats in the recess of my pantry, I discovered a plastic container of puffed wheat. I had completely forgotten about the enthusiastic purchase I made weeks prior, due to my poor placement!
So, naturally, I resolved to experiment with the puffed wheat as soon as possible. And that is precisely what I did!
Today is (fun fact!) National Peanut Butter Day. I found out around lunchtime while scrolling through some blogs, and realized that desert tonight was going to be grand. Peanut butter, puffed wheat, and some other yummy things? Where could this train of thinking possibly go awry?
I sat and stared at my pantry for a good 20 minutes. What did I want? Carrots. I wanted carrots. Wait no, I wanted a potato. WAIT. PEANUT BUTTER. PUFFED WHEAT. Ohhhh yeah and I have that carrot juice I need to drink before it goes bad…. And that cashew milk…
Thoughts and thoughts and thoughts. So finally I started throwing things in a bowl. I froze the creamy blend, and then topped with with warm baked sweet potato chunks, some strawberries, some peanut butter, and a molasses drizzle.
The end result was heavenly. I knew I just had to share this. It had volume, it had protein, it was filling, and even had some veggies! A home run, slam dunk, and touchdown all in one!!

Carrot Cake Puffed Wheat Parfait

Ingredients:
1 carrot
1 cup puffed wheat
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tablespoons cashew milk
1 tablespoon carrot juice
Pinch of nutmeg and ginger
2 pinches of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Any toppings desired (I included a chopped baked sweet potato, some strawberries, some molasses, and some peanut butter)

Directions

1. Grate the carrot into a bowl.
2. Add the yogurt and mix with the grated carrot.
2. Add the puffed wheat, cashew milk, spices, and carrot juice. Stir thoroughly to combine.
3. Place in the freeze for one hour, stirring ever 20 minutes (VERY important step!!)
4. Add toppings!!
5. Devour!

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Super Thick Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are a blessing. Maybe not a photogenic blessing, but certainly a welcome gift on busy mornings where time is of the essence. Lately, during that time of the school year where the snooze button becomes a bad friend that pushes you into the realm of avoidable hurry, overnight oats have become a delectable treat of convenience. And I believe I have developed the perfect overnight oatmeal recipe.

Adaptable, easy, flavorful, and balanced, this porridge is a newfound staple of mine. The creamy thickness coats your mouth and fills your stomach, leaving you pleasantly satisfied for hours after eating. This is also a customizable bowl. Feel free to change the liquid, switch any extracts and spices, or add non acidic fruits and vegetables (acidic fruits, like berries, tend to turn sour overnight) to paint a flavor onto the oats. Changing the protein powder, adding spreads or jams, or other flavoring powders will give the same effect. This is a basic recipe that you can change to suit your personal needs. Vegans can simply replace the yogurt with applesauce, mashed banana, pumpkin (and additional sweetener) or coconut yogurt. Whey or other protein powders can be substituted for the pea protein powder, whey just upsets my stomach and this is what I had on hand!

Perfectly Thick Overnight Oats

Ingredients

1/2-1 cup shredded zucchini

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup yogurt**

1/4 cup cashew milk

1 scoop of protein powder**I used vanilla orgain organic pea protein

1-2 tablespoons of raisons

1 teaspoon of honey or stevia

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cinnamon, to taste

Nearly Empty or “Nearly Empty” nut butter jar

**see above for substitutions

Directions

1. Add the shredded zucchini to a bowl and cook in the microwave with a tabkespoon water for a few minutes (I do three, but this will change depending on your microwave. Just make sure your zucchini is well cooked! You could omit the zucchini if you wanted.

2. Remove the cooked zucchini from the microwave, add the oats and yogurt, and stir.

3. Wait a few minutes for the mixture to cool a bit before adding the cinnamon, vanilla extract, raisons, protein powder, and milk. The mixture will be quite thick. You can add more milk, if desired.

4. Plop the mixture into the peanut butter jar. Lid it and let it sit overnight.

5. In the morning, add more nut butter, some nuts, some fruit, and anything else you desire! Enjoy your perfect bowl of oatmeal!

IMG_1133-0(Bonus- no dishes to clean!!)

Recap of a Crazy Busy Week- Some Fun Recipes!

This week was insanity. A nonstop whirl of school, rehearsal, runs throughout the neighborhood, and long hours at the gym (the treadmill has become bearable.. but I will always refer to it as the “dread-mill”)

So, the blog kind of took a backseat position for a few days- but, don’t worry, I thought of you all often, and took many pictures after creating a couple of fun things!

This week brought about quite a few wonderful oatmeal bowls:

I found some Justins peanut butter cups on clearance at Kroger, and I bought ALL of them. Oh my gosh, I recommend them so much! Anyway, Monday morning brought some rather simple vanilla zoats, topped with a banana, a peanut butter cup, some raspberries, some pistachios, and some of Justins honey peanut butter! So delicious and filling!

I found some Justins peanut butter cups on clearance at Kroger, and I bought ALL of them. Oh my gosh, I recommend them so much!
Anyway, Monday morning brought some rather simple vanilla zoats, topped with a banana, a peanut butter cup, some raspberries, some pistachios, and some of Justins honey peanut butter!
So delicious and filling!

I was forced to upgrade my bowl for Tuesdays oatmeal. The combination of zucchini, orange, egg whites, and protein powder flooded my usual bowl. I wasn't complaining though! Chocolate Orange Zoats made with some Vega Protein Powder. I topped this thick porridge with a chopped banana, and some melted Trader Joes Salted Peanut Butter.

I was forced to upgrade my bowl for Tuesdays oatmeal. The combination of zucchini, orange, egg whites, and protein powder flooded my usual bowl. I wasn’t complaining though!
Chocolate Orange Zoats made with some Vega Protein Powder. I topped this thick porridge with a chopped banana, and some melted Trader Joes Salted Peanut Butter.

This photo looks so strange. I tried to make it aesthetically pleasing but it just looks.. awkward. Oh well, the bowl tasted quite amazing! Vanilla Zoats topped with a Justins Peanut Butter Cup and a sliced banana!

This photo looks so strange. I tried to make it aesthetically pleasing but it just looks.. awkward. Oh well, the bowl tasted quite amazing!
Vanilla Zoats topped with a Justins Peanut Butter Cup and a sliced banana!

This was a good one! Friday morning oats, complete with an aesthetic flair! Gingerbread cookie oats (recipe needs some refining but watch out for it!) topped with a peanut butter cup, a banana, some pistachios, and some Trader Joe's List Flax and Chia Peanut Butter!

This was a good one! Friday morning oats, complete with an aesthetic flair!
Gingerbread cookie oats (recipe needs some refining but watch out for it!) topped with a peanut butter cup, a banana, some pistachios, and some Trader Joe’s List Flax and Chia Peanut Butter!

I eat oatmeal everyday, but a couple of the bowls I either forgot to take a picture of, orrrr I am saving them for an upcoming recipe post! So watch out for some delicious ideas coming your way!

But this week had more than oatmeal. So, so, so, much more. Like this:

A grilled mango and dark chocolate sandwich. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. MANGO AND CHOCOLATE SMASHED BETWEEN BREAD AND THEN TOASTED. CAN I GET AN AMEN!

A grilled mango and dark chocolate sandwich. YOU READ THAT RIGHT. MANGO AND CHOCOLATE SMASHED BETWEEN BREAD AND THEN TOASTED.
CAN I GET AN AMEN!

OK that one was super enthralling for me. And it tasted amazing. Mmmm. But I do eat more than chocolate and oatmeal, I promise haha.

Last Sunday night I made a giant batch of 16 beans soup that lasted me half of the week! It was so convenient, and super tasty as well! All I did was leave a "16 bean mix" from Kroger to soak overnight. Then I added broth and cooked the soaked beans for 1 hour. I added an onion, a bag of frozen sliced carrots, a tbs of chili powder, a tbs of sriracha, a teaspoon of salt, and other spices to taste, and let that simmer for another hour. Viola! Easy soup! To serve, I would add boiled potatoes, some go veggie cheese, and some sriracha sauce! So delicious!

Last Sunday night I made a giant batch of 16 beans soup that lasted me half of the week! It was so convenient, and super tasty as well!
All I did was leave a “16 bean mix” from Kroger to soak overnight. Then I added broth and cooked the soaked beans for 1 hour. I added an onion, a bag of frozen sliced carrots, a tbs of chili powder, a tbs of sriracha, a teaspoon of salt, and other spices to taste, and let that simmer for another hour. Viola! Easy soup!
To serve, I would add boiled potatoes, some go veggie cheese, and some sriracha sauce! So delicious!

A quick and easy pre-gym meal for me this week! A tortilla stuffed with hummus, greens, tofu, shredded carrots, and go veggie cheese. Alongside some carrots, this always got me through my workout with energy and no upset stomach! (Runners trots are the WORST!)

A quick and easy pre-gym meal for me this week! A tortilla stuffed with hummus, greens, tofu, shredded carrots, and go veggie cheese. Alongside some carrots, this always got me through my workout with energy and no upset stomach! (Runners trots are the WORST!)

And then the weekend rolled around. The weekends are my favorite, as they are usually filled with activities I enjoy that keep me busy. School is busy, but isn’t exactly fun haha. But I would rather be at school than be at home doing nothing. It is probably just me, but laying around is only entertaining for a couple hours before I just feel lazy and bored!!!

The weekend was also filled with easy snacks and meals.

A snack that I will always enjoy. A quest bar and some fruit. So easy, so fast, and SO FILLING.

A snack that I will always enjoy. A quest bar and some fruit. So easy, so fast, and SO FILLING.

A "big snack", or just a typical snack for me heehheehehe. 2 pieces of toasted Ezekial Bread smashed together with Go Veggie Cheese, served up with a rainbow of fruits and veggies!

A “big snack”, or just a typical snack for me heehheehehe.
2 pieces of toasted Ezekial Bread smashed together with Go Veggie Cheese, served up with a rainbow of fruits and veggies!

And now I am sitting at my computer, after completing a AWESOME half-marathon this morning. Eating this:

Greek Yogurt topped with a chopped apple, some blackberries, and some sweet potato butter (SO GOOD OMG)

Greek Yogurt topped with a chopped apple, some blackberries, and some sweet potato butter (SO GOOD OMG)

And that was my week! Next week will bring in some recipes, so keep your eyes peeled!!!

Choco-Cherry Baked Oatmeal… With a Surprise Ingredient!

Baked oatmeal is a luxury that only weekends give me the time for. After a long, and lately, cold, run in temperamental weather, all I want is warm food and a hot shower.
So, baked oatmeal is a wonderful connivence, because I can mix the batter, pop it in the oven, take a shower, and then eat. The walk down the stairs, when I can smell the oatmeal getting crispy and melty, is always one of bliss 🙂
Kroger this week has a fantastic sale on cherries. Sure, they were a bit bruised, but they still tasted heavenly. Cherries are one of my absolute favorite fruits. They are also, unfortunately, expensive. Whole Foods asks for $11 a pound, no joke. So I jumped with glee when I saw the $2 a pound sale.
This week has been filled with cherry-tastic oatmeal. This baked oatmeal was one I had to share though. It was so… perfect.
And a hidden ingredient, which was a total “i-really-hope-this-works-please-work” kind if idea, made the oatmeal moist without the addition of oil, butter, yogurt, etc. No, this vegetable replaced several ingredients at once.
Cauliflower.
Wait! Come back! I am not crazy, I swear! After I puréed the white wonderfulness with some cashew milk, it turned into a beautifully creamy baked oatmeal base. It was so simple too, something anybody with a blender could do. And the extra veggies? Talk about an added bonus!!
Anyway, onto the recipe!

Baked Choco-Cherry Suprise Oatmeal
Ingredients:
1/2 cup cooked cauliflower
1/4 cup cashew or almond milk
1/2 cup raw rolled oatmeal
1 scoop Vega-One chocolate protein powder (any other chocolate protein powder can replace this, including a whey product. Or, use vanilla protein powder and some cocoa powder!)
3/4 cup pitted fresh cherries, plus some more for topping.
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Optional Add-Ins
A small handful of pistachios
1 teaspoon of coconut sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Whip out a blender, and blend the cauliflower and cashew/almond milk together. I used a personal serving ninja thingy that I adore!
3. Next, transfer the purée to a bowl, and add the oatmeal. Let that sit while you chop the pits out of the cherries.
4. Add a scoop of protein powder, the cherries, the baking powder, the vanilla, and any optional add-ins.
5. Place in the oven for 35 minutes, remove, top with desired toppings, and then devour! (Careful, it will be hot!)

Ignore the hand mit- this baby was fresh from the oven and piping hot!

Ignore the hand mit- this baby was fresh from the oven and piping hot!

Cocoa Roasted Butternut Squash + This Weeks Favorites

The first week of the New Year has opened with triumphant bang- I have high hopes for the upcoming days that will mesh together to mold 2015. Strange, typing that phrase on this document. 2015. It feels like a wind has settled right beneath my fingertips, a final goodbye to 2014.

At school particularly, It feels quite strange writing 2015 in the corner-tops of my papers, for even though I acknowledge in my head it is 2015, the idea hasn’t permeated my conscious thinking too effectively. Oh well, hopefully by October I will have the year straight in my mind 😉

This Sunday was one for the running PR books. I ran my farthest distance yet, clocking in a 14.34 miles. Typing it makes is that much more real, and my heart dances thinking I ran over a half-marathon. In the past few weeks, while my pace has improved slightly along with my average mileage, the thing that has seen the most improvement is my mental fortitude. I used to be unable to run far distances on a track, but on wonderful christmas cruise I breezed through 9 miles on the upper level track. I used to groan at the thought of running after school, but now I rush home so I can hit the road. Running truly does become an obsession after you get into it. I can’t picture my life without it anymore. I am enthralled for the races that this year shall bring. I have a few that I am keeping my eye on at the moment, and am hoping to sign up soon 🙂

This week was also a celebratory one for my taste buds. I whipped a butternut squash from my closet and performed some magic, and am pleased to share the final result!

Look at this beauty. Oh, it was gone so fast. I couldn't get enough of the rich taste!

Look at this beauty. Oh, it was gone so fast. I couldn’t get enough of the rich taste!

It was so easy too. First, I cut the stem from the squash, cut it in half, and seeded it. Then, I heat the oven to “convection bake, 425F” and placed the halves in on a baking tin, face up, and let it bake for around 45 minutes. Before I put the halves in, I topped them with some cocoa powder, cinnamon, and stevia. Then, after I let it cool, I added peanut butter and coconut oil, and devoured it! Some melted dark chocolate on this would have been perfecttttt.

I need to buy more squash ASAP, I am down to the bare bones in my pantry….

I also created some quick and easy broccoli slaw. At Meijer this week, all of the broccoli slaw went on “managers special”, and was about $1 for a huge bag of the stuff. So, naturally, I bought four big bags. I made broccoli pasta with most of it (just broccoli slaw sautéed with garlic and spaghetti sauce- SO EASY AND YUMMY), but I had an idea to make some coleslaw after I saw something similar on pintrest.

This was easy as well (I love easy!). All I needed was 1.5 cups raw broccoli slaw, 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard, some spices (I threw in onion powder, paprika, and some pepper), as well a tablespoon of craisons (or raisons), and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds. So so so easy, and so delicious! Just mix and serve!

Yum! And so colorful!!

Yum! And so colorful!!

I also had the most delicious bowl of oatmeal ever. Lately I have been loving “flooding” my oatmeal, which is basically just splashing the piping hot oatmeal with a cool liquid. My favorite is juice- specifically carrot or pomegranate juice. (I could talk about carrot juice foreverrrr. I love love LOVE the stuff. Any yes, I am slightly orange!)

Sweet potato pomegranate oats, topped with a banana, peanut butter, and a splash of pomegranate juice. So wonderful, and so full of carbilicioius energy!

Sweet potato pomegranate oats, topped with a banana, peanut butter, and a splash of pomegranate juice. So wonderful, and so full of carbilicioius energy!

This week has been a great week so far! I am hoping for a strong finish, and not just to the week but for the year. Maybe that it looking ahead too far, but thinking in advance is one of my guilty pleasures 🙂

How has your week been? Tell me below!! (I won’t bite!!)