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Sweat Pink Ambassador Vlog: DIY Caprese Salad

Hi everyone! This week’s Sweat Pink Ambassador Vlog Challenge topic is about a favorite recipe! I will be showing you how to make my own version of Trader Joe’s Arugula Caprese Salad with Basil Dressing.  Be sure to tune in each week to hear about the new topic of discussion!

Salad Ingredients:

  1. 1 generous  handful of arugula
  2. 1 handful of sugar plum or cherry tomatoes; ~ half cup
  3. 3 small mozzarella balls cut in quarters (or omit for less calories)

What you will need to make the dressing:  

  1. LOTS of Fresh basil (about a half cup of chopped leaves)
  2.  1/3 c olive oil (I like extra virgin)
  3. 1 clove of garlic, minced.
  4. Juice of a full small lemon (I like acidity in my dressing, so add to taste)
  5. and a few pinches of salt.

Make the dressing: I put the basil, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt into my little cuisinart food processor and blend until smooth.  To put the salad together, I add the arugula, tomatoes, cheese bits and then pour some dressing on top. I love making salads with my Fit n Fresh salad container because I can shake it after I put everything inside, so I end up with evenly distributed dressing (so I don’t have to add more than necessary) 🙂

For those of you counting calories here is the approximate caloric breakdown

  1. 2 cups arugula ~ 20 calories
  2. ½ cup sugar plum tomatoes ~ 20-30 cal.
  3. 3 mozzarella balls ~ 60 calories (20 cal ea.)
  4. The dressing is the most ‘calorie dense’; 1 tbsp of olive oil ~ 120 calories.  If you want to ‘water it down’, add less olive oil, add a LOT more lemon juice and basil.

And that brings us to a total of about 225 calories per serving (with 1tbsp of dressing!).

Tejava Tea is an unsweetened microbrewed tea. Related Pages/Posts: Recipes.

What is your go-to quick & easy recipe? Feel free to share the link below!

Post Swap: DIY Granola Bars


Hi everyone, my name is Shelly from Vegetarian ‘Ventures and I am so pleased to share a recipe with you through Nicole’s blog today! Although I am not a runner by any means, I do obsess over a very different form of working out. My vice is yoga; not only do I get a work out from yoga but I come out of practice feeling like I’ve undergone a 30 minute non-verbal therapy session (and what a refreshing feeling it is!). You are not suppose to eat two hours before yoga but my body and mind (my mind is ALWAYS thinking about food) is not okay with that so I tend to try to have very small snacks around the house to munch on before working out. These granola bar are a perfect snack that won’t leave you feeling stuffed but will give you a burst of energy!

I have to admit…I had such a fiasco with this recipe at first! I woke up extra early to make these for breakfast and my puppy decided to sample ALL of them while I was brushing my teeth and waiting for them to cool. There goes breakfast! Oh well…at least the chocolate chips were vegan so I don’t think they were too bad for him!

Feel free to subsitute whatever you have on hand. I used vegan chocolate chips but feel free to subsitute in dark chocolate or maybe even butterscotch chips (or if you don’t want chocolate at all try dried fruit). Another great tool for recipes like this are the bulk sections at your local co-op. Don’t want a pound of shredded coconut? Just buy enough in bulk to make this recipe! Also, browse what they have and add something that looks good into the mix. Another great thing about these granola bars is that it’s so easy to tweak them to your liking.

Also, it’s reassuring to know exactly what is going into your pre/post work out snacks instead of buying over manufactured items.

DIY Granola Bars Recipe

                            • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
                            • 1 cup coconut flakes
                            • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
                            • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used vegan)
                            • 1/2 teaspoon salt
                            • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
                            • dash of nutmeg
                            • dash of allspice
                            • 2 very ripe bananas
                            • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
                            • 1/4 cup coconut oil
                            • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, coconut flakes, pecans, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the bananas, peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix until everything is combined. Put into a parchment lined baking dish (I used a 9 by 9 square dish) and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Let cool completely and enjoy for breakfast or as a post workout snack! They should keep for up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.

For those of you wondering what a post swap is, it means Shelly from Vegetarian ‘Ventures and I are doing a ‘guest post’ for each other’s blog today! I have been following Shelly’s blog for a few weeks now and have made a couple of her recipes which were delicious!  I’m very pleased to have her as a guest writer on my blog today sharing her granola bar recipe with you. Enjoy!

DIY: Lavender Foot Cream

Source

Just because I run, doesn’t mean I have infamous ‘runners feet’. And by this I mean, blisters, calluses, dry/cracked heels etc… So how do I keep my feet happy? After I exfoliate with a brush or pumice cream, I apply this rejuvenating lavender foot cream before bed (2-3x.week)! I also put nice cozy socks over them to keep the moisture in at night (rather than rubbing off on all my sheets). This recipe is from Herb Companion Magazine and is called “Summer Foot Cream“. If you are wondering why my product does not look like their picture, I personally think they didn’t actually made it…Anyway after creating this once, I altered the recipe slightly and gave my 2cents about the process. So here is how to make it!

What you will need:

  • 1/2 c Sesame oil or almond oil (got from Whole Foods ~$5/bottle)
  • 1tsp vitamin E oil (if you only have capsules, puncture and squeeze out 8)
  • 2tbsp grated beeswax (Grandma gave me some)
  • 4-5 drops lavender oil (Whole Foods ~$9/bottle)
  • Old glass bowl you don’t care about anymore
  • Clean container: I like to clean empty product jars and put my diy products in them. On right: former olay glass jar).
Note: Really use a glass bowl you don’t care about because it is extremely hard to get the beeswax off the glass. I had to soak the now ‘cloudy’ glass bowl in hot water and scrub ALOT. It was a pain. This recipe also originally called for water, but I found that it is hard to incorporate with the oil (easily separates). So I’m not going to use it in the future.

How to make this creamy mixture:

  1. Mix oil (vitamin E and sesame) with the grated beeswax and heat slowly in a double boiler. To make a double boiler if you don’t have one, fill a saucepan with water and put a glass bowl over the top. Make sure there is space between the bottom of the glass bowl and the top of the boiling water.  You are heating the mixture with steam essentially. So get the water boiling, put the bowl on top, and put in the first sentence ingredients. Heat until the wax is completely melted (clear liquid), but not boiling.
  2. Remove from heat, stir and add the lavender essential oil.
  3. Pour cream into a clean container and allow it to cool completely on the counter before closing it with a lid.  The cream will thicken in an hour or so as it cools. You might want to stir it once in a while during this process.
  4. Massage onto feet!

Source

According to Herb Companion, if you keep products in a cool, dark, dry spot they will last until completely used up.  They recommend you spoon out the cream to prevent contamination from your hands (i.e. harboring and growing bacteria in the cream).  Always throw it out if it smells bad. Update: I’ve had mine for a month and its been fine. I actually scoop it out with my fingers from this shallow Olay container (shhh!). This recipe made about a little over a half cup of cream, so I poured the rest into a dispensable clean container. It’s pretty awesome, so try it out!!!

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Doggie Peanut Butter Treats

Today I decided to share another of Chloe’s favorite doggie biscuit recipes! I will also link this blog post to my recipes page for future reference if you decide to make it for your dog 🙂

Recipe of the week: Peanut butter biscuits
From Tripawds.com: Indi’s grain-free peanut butter cookies

The story behind this recipe:
When my dog was diagnosed with cancer in June 2010, I did a lot of research on factors that can lead to cancer. One biggie is diet (genetics also play a large role).  Grain based diets have been linked to more cases of dog health problems, even cancer. That’s not to say you dog won’t get cancer even if you keep them on a grain-free diet, but it can certainly help with their overall health! So whether you’re into healthy grain-free treats for your dog who’s fighting cancer, or an anything-goes for your three or four legged pooch, here’s a recipe to try!  To read more about my dog and her life on three legs visit my blog “Being 4 legged is so overrated“.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c peanut butter (chunky or smooth)
  • 1 tbsp canola or flaxseed oil
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1.5 c grain free flour *I used gluten free since I had some, but you could use garbonzo flour, rice flour etc…
  • Rolling pin and floured work surface
  • Fun cookie cutters!
  • *For a twist, add Reeses Peanut Butter chips!
How you make these treatsies:
1.  Preheat oven to 375F. Start mixing ingredients while it is warming up 🙂
2.  Combine peanut butter, oil and water in a large bowl. Mix until well blended (by hand or mixer)
3.  Slowly add flour and mix together until dough resembles coarse crumbles. Mix in peanut butter chips (if you have/want them).
4.  Place lump of ‘dough’ on a floured work surface and knead until it is easily rolled out to 1/4″ thick. Use cool cookie cutters and then place uncooked biscuits onto cookie sheet. I use aluminum cookie sheets which do not need to be greased. If you use something else, do what ever you would normally do to prep the cookie sheets (if anything at all). They don’t expand much so you can cram a bunch on the sheets!
5.  Bake for 20 min (depending on thickness and size) until hardened (but not burnt!). If they are still a little soft, add 5-10 min to cook time.
       Once they have cooled, give to pooch! These last about a week before they ‘mold’.  This makes a couple dozen cookies, so you can always make the full recipe, cut all the cookies and freeze them until you need to bake some more!!! The most important thing is to always have fun 🙂

Funana Bread

What is funana bread? How about Fun-banana bread! I always love adding my own twist to a traditional recipe to keep it interesting! Today I will teach you how to make your own specialized version of funana bread!

Recipe of the week: Funana Bread: Banana bread with a surprise!
Original recipe: Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book 14th edition.

The story behind this recipe:
I get bored making the same thing over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, original recipes are AWESOME staples, but I like to mix it up once in a while 😉 When I don’t eat my bananas before they get overly ripe, I don’t throw them out, I let them ripen even more. Why? To make banana bread or muffins, of course! You really need to have mushable bananas to make these recipes. Trust me, its much easier that way.  Today I found myself with 3 overly ripe bananas waiting to be baked. And I was feeling especially creative 🙂 So I looked in my cupboard for inspiration: nuts and dried fruit. I pulled out some sliced almonds, dried cranberries and dried currants.  I decided they would make the original recipe more fun. Hence ‘funana’ bread! I encourage you to try different nuts (almonds, walnuts and pecans are awesome for baking), dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, currants etc…), and anything else you like! Maybe even chopped up dates (like date nut bread), chocolate chips (can’t go wrong with chocolate) or a combo of anything aforementioned! And any ‘quick breads’ like zucchini or apple would also work for adding some ‘fun’! Even though pumpkin bread falls into this category, I never mess with it. Too much of a pumpkin lover to let anything else shine. With that said, get baking!  Make some funana bread to eat and share!

Ingredients:

  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon (I add 1/2 cuz I like it!)
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1.5 c mashed ripe bananas (~3 large)
  • 1 c sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • Fun stuff! (I used 1/4 c sliced almonds, 1/3 c mixed dried fruit; cranberries and currants)
  • 1 9x5x3″ greased pan or 2 small ones (I grease with crisco)
  • 2 mixing bowls (1 lg, 1 med)
**For original recipe prepare without ‘fun stuff’

How you make this funana bread:
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease bottom and all sides of loaf pan; set aside. In the large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
  2. In the medium bowl combine: eggs, banana mush, sugar and oil. Fold in ‘fun stuff’! For me that was almonds and dried fruit.
  3. Pour ‘wet’ mixture from step two into dry mixture from step 1.  Mix until all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated and you have a lumpy final mixture.
  4. Bake for about an hour.  Check for ‘doneness’ with a long toothpick or thin metal stick known as a cake tester.  If it comes out clean (when you poke down the middle of the bread) then it is done. If not, cover it with foil and put it back in the oven for 5-10min at a time, checking regularly to prevent overcooking. Mine took 1hr 20min, so don’t feel bad if it takes longer.  The recipe says it should be done within 55-60min. So maybe my oven isn’t as warm?
  5. Once it is done, let it cool for 10min. Then remove the bread from the pan and let it completely cool (1-2hrs) before you store it. Now EAT and I hope you enjoy!!!