Kale Chips and Guacamole

HAPPY MARCH! Open-mouthed smile

I don’t know about you, but I am beyond excited for the start of a new month. February wasn’t the greatest for me, but I’m ready to turn it around in March and enjoy life. It already started off on a good note at my doctors appointment yesterday, when my doctor grabbed my arm and said, “Whoa, someone’s got some muscle.” THANK YOU SIR. Way to make my day. I wanted to hug him, but then felt that might be inappropriate and creepy since we were in an enclosed room alone. Good choice not to Allison. Nice work.

I also have to say that I’m on this motivation high right now. I had an amazing, amazing, amazing workout x 1,000 yesterday which included:

  • 1 hour jazzercise class
  • 20 minute Tone It Up HIIT routine
  • 10 minutes stretching
  • 15 minutes strength training/toning

I split that up into two parts, jazzercise and HIIT in the morning and stretching and toning in the evening. I feel awesome today. I knew that I wouldn’t have time to exercise today and since I had the energy to get it all done yesterday, why not?

Also motivated by Jillian Michaels and Michelle Obama on The Dr. Oz Show yesterday. Michelle is starting a new campaign to get children more active, especially in schools, which I think is absolutely fantastic. She said only 10% of public schools have a physical education program, and children spend an average of 7 hours in front of some kind of screen (tv, ipad, laptop, ipod, etc.) EVERY SINGLE FREAKING DAY. That is insane. It’s one thing if you’re an adult and your career requires that, but there is absolutely no need for a kid to not be outside playing and climbing trees like they should be. Like we did when we were younger! Jillian preached about her own weight loss struggle, which really touched my heart and only made me love her more. Did I tell you guys that I’m going to see her tour this spring when it comes to Detroit?!

Dr. Oz and Jillian Michaels exercise.

Anyway, moving onto the point of this post: a new recipe! Wooo! And a good one at that. I adapted this from the Tone It Up girls. It is beyond delicious. You will get addicted.

Kale Chips and Guacamole

  • kale (as much as you want depending on how many people this is serving!)
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • any other seasonings you wish
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. If kale is not already in bite-size pieces, rip it up so it is. Spread it out on a cookie sheet, lightly drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and any other seasonings you wish, and lightly toss with tongs.
  3. Bake for 40 minutes (or until crunchy), flipping halfway through.
  4. Mash avocado and stir in tomato and onion. Squeeze in lime juice, sprinkle in sea salt and any other seasonings you wish, and give a good stir!

Now my kale “chips” have never gotten crunchy enough to have a chip-like consistency. When I make this recipe, I usually just put the kale on a plate, spoon guacamole on top, and eat with a fork. The guacamole will make enough to serve two, so double it if you’re cooking for more!

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This is a great recipe for entertaining friends or even to make for yourself for lunch. I’m definitely guilty of eating all the guacamole in one sitting. Sorry I’m not sorry.

I’ll be back later with a review of The Happiness Project March chapter. You can catch my February review, too Smile

Did you catch Jillian on Dr. Oz yesterday? What do you think of her?

The Unhealthiest Dessert I Ever Made

Oops. My bad. I wanted a thin mint pie, so I made it. And it was delicious. And I am happy. The end.

It all started when Luke bought 4 boxes of thin mint cookies from my younger sister. Then we realized he had 4 boxes sitting on the counter, and we should probably do something with them rather than eating them all in 10 minutes. The Pinterest thin mint pie was found, as was a solution to our problem. As you can probably imagine, mine doesn’t look quite like this, but we’ll get to that later.

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Thin Mint No-Bake Pie

The recipe is actually super simple. Here’s all you need:

  • 45 thin mint cookies
  • 1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
  • 8 oz. cool whip
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (1 package)
  • 1/3 cup sugar

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Instructions are also really easy:

  • Crush up 24 cookies super tiny and mix with the melted butter. My sister helped me and just used her hands to do this, but I suppose you could use a food processer, too.

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  • Push the mixture into a pie pan to cover the bottom and make a crust.
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar together. Stir in the cool whip and remaining crushed cookies (21 of ‘em).
  • Put the filling on top of the crust.

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The end! We froze ours, and I think it was even more delicious. Like a really, really lazy ice cream cake. Since it is girl scout cookie season and all, I’m sure many of you have a plethora of cookies in your house to use up. I bet you could do this with a lot of different combinations:

  • Tagalongs, and add a little peanut butter to the cream cheese
  • Trefoils, and add some almond extract and chopped almond to the filling
  • Samoa’s, and add some shredded coconut and coconut oil to the filling and drizzle the top with caramel

The possibilities are endless!

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Isn’t it beautiful?! Not. I promise, it tastes delicious though.

Apple Ring Coffee Cake Recipe

I feel like this is turning into “grandma’s recipes Friday.” Hey, she’s got a lot of good ones! Last week I talked about her vegetarian chili, and this week we’re going in a whole different direction with a coffee cake.

coffee cake

That is seriously the picture from the cookbook this came from. You can totally tell it’s an old recipe. Sometimes those are the best though! Just simple ingredients; not all this fancy schmancy stuff we have nowadays. Once again, this recipe was adapted by my grandma and adapted again by me. So the original recipe comes from some really old cookbook; I don’t want want to steal someone else’s work, haha. That person is probably long gone by now, and even if there’s not, there’s no way they’re reading this blog. Okay, I’m rambling. Moving on.

 

This recipe would be great to make for a work party, a brunch with your friends and family, or just for you to have around the house to munch on throughout the week. Super simple, so there’s no reason not to try it!

 

Apple Ring Coffee Cake

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I usually substitute 2 cups of whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I bet it would be awesome if you also added in some pumpkin spice!)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I use 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup of stevia usually)
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (A whole cup?! I know. Feel free to substitute 1 cup of applesauce. Totally cuts back on calories and is even more moist and delicious!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • Powdered sugar for the top if you wish
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. Stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Then stir in walnuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in apples. Stir in flour mixture.
  4. Spoon batter into a greased tube pan. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Loosen edges, remove from pan, and let cool completely on rack.
  5. Transfer to serving plate and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

And in case you don’t know what a tube pan looks like, this is it:

tube pan

Good luck! Happy Friday. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

friday dance

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

Happy, happy Friday! I have a non-traditional work week, but Luke does the typical 9-5 M-F, so I look forward to the weekends just as much as anyone else, because we actually get to spend time together. I promised to start posting new recipes every Friday, so why not start right away?

 

This veggie packed chili would be awesome to make for a Super Bowl party you’re throwing or going to this weekend. Serve it with some oyster crackers and it’s even better :p

 

My grandma gave me this recipe quite a few years ago when I first became a vegetarian. I’m not sure where she got it from, but she made some of her own changes, and then I further made my own substitutions. So I suppose you could call it an original? She was one of the people in my life who was actually respectful of my decision and always tried out new recipes for me when I would come to visit. This chili was one of the first dishes we tried, and we both loved it. It’s got a bit of a kick to it, but nothing some crackers and water can’t fix! My dad, who is a huge meat eater, loves it, too; he’s actually asked me to make it on more than one occasion. So enough talk; here ya go!

 

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

chili

Ingredients:

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil (the original recipe calls for cooking oil)

2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained ****I also add in a chopped medium tomato; add if you wish!

1 can (16 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained ****It’s really hard to find these near me, so I oftentimes substitute a can of chickpeas; it works just the same :)

1 can (11 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained ****I usually use it frozen from a bag

2 1/2 cups water

1 cup uncooked long grain rice (use whole grain if you can find it!)

1 to 2 tablespoons chili power (this doesn’t seem like a lot, but it reaaaally adds some spice; use caution if you have sensitive taste buds)

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

Directions:

Saute green pepper, onion, and garlic in oil in a large pot until tender.

Add it all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until rice is cooked, stirring occassionally.

 

This should give you about 10 servings, at only 190 calories per bowl. Sweet.

HOW FREAKING EASY IS THAT?! And so good. You’ll have lots of leftovers.

 

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That’s my sisters and I with our grandma (far left) and great-grandma :)

 

Anyway, enjoy the recipe and the rest of your afternoon!

 

Do you have recipes that have been passed down through your family?