Thursday, July 31, 2014

Eatin' in the Season | Summer Tomato Pasta Salad!

It's time to take a bite out of summer. 
I am all about eating foods that fit the season [except when I am craving a pumpkin spiced latte and its 90+ degrees outside...sometimes you just have to go to the store and buy something pumpkin flavored... you just gotta]. But, for the most part, I like to eat according to the season. This pasta salad, is the perfect summer lunch. ++ I am still dreaming out it.
I can't take all the credit for this one, well I really can't take any credit for it. Mollie brought this into work a few weeks ago and made me try it [because you know me... I always refuse food when offered to me... not].
IT. WAS. AH-MAZING. ++ It is probably, the easiest pasta salad ever.
I guess the only credit I can take for this one is revamping it a smidge. I was trying my best to eat Paleo//healthy because I was going to the beach the next week, so I decided to use my spaghetti squash in place of the regular spaghetti noodles. It just so happened that I had some left over from my Meat Sauce Recipe I made that night.
4 small - medium sized Tomatoes (I used vine ripe Yellow + Red tomaotes but any Tomatoes would work!)
1-2 cups Spaghetti Squash (the original recipe calls for regular spaghetti noodles)
3-4 cloves Garlic (chopped)
5-6 leaves fresh Basil
Olive Oil (enough to cover the tomatoes)
Salt (to taste)

1. Combine chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil and salt into a tuperware container (make sure it has a lid). Keep all of the juices from the tomatoes -- it adds to the flavor!

2. Next, pour enough Olive Oil to allow the tomatoes to "soak" in the oil + juices.
3. Cover, and place in the refrigerator overnight to allow the tomatoes to "marinate". Then top over warm cooked spaghetti squash!
You can either eat yours the way Mollie did [which is the way the recipe originally says to do it], OR, you can do what I did and eat it over warm spaghetti squash! Either way works and either way it is delicious!
The great thing about this recipe is how cheap it actually is. I mean they basically give away tomatoes at the grocery store + that huge bundle of basil in the pic above... $1 at the farmers market... there's not typo there. It really was $1.
I loved this tomato pasta salad + am going to start buying extra tomatoes whenever I do so I can always have this on had. It was quick, easy ++ super delicious! The way the flavors combine is nothing short of amazing.

Be honest, how many of you are looking at this and thinking; "She had to write a whole post about this.. it's literally tomatoes swimming it's own juices...". I thought so too... at first! Then I tasted it, and the heavens opened up and angels sang a majestic song of joy.
Okay, maybe that didn't happen... or maybe it did. Either way trust me and go make this tomato pasta salad.
Have a fit + fantastic day y'all!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Protein Packed Energy Balls | Two Flavors!

These might not look pretty, like at all.
Okay, these may be one of the ugliest foods I've ever made//posted.

But man, do they rock.
I mean seriously, these thangs rock.
You've probably seen protein backed bites//balls all over the Pinterest and tons of different kinds. To be honest you can basically throw anything into the mixture and it would be good. All you need is a nut butter base + oats [optional] + protein powder + flax [for extra protein] + nuts [for even more protein + an added crunch].
I made these last week before we went out of town because I was determined to eat healthy while on vacation, which sorta worked out... I also planned to workout everyday, which I actually did [self-five]! I brought the energy balls as a pre//post workout snack to keep me on track + they definitely helped!
When I made them, I was feeling super pumped and decided to make extra + different flavors. I made Chocolate Peanut Butter and a Vanilla Coconut Macadamia Nut kind. To be honest the Vanilla is my fav because 1] it's Paleo & 2] its an explosion of Coconut as soon as you bite into it + I've been on a massive coconut kick the past few months!
Originally, these [pic below] were the only ingredients I was going to use -- then I got excited and started throwing in a ton more stuff. Whoops [self low five].
And...I was supposed to use Almond Butter, instead of Peanut Butter, for this but realized I left it at a friends house so the Peanut Butter had to do.

Chocolate Peanut Butter (makes 11 balls)
1 cup Natural Peanut Butter
2 TBSP Milled Flaxseed
1 TBSP Chia Seeds
1 TBSP Shredded Sweetened Coconut
2 TBSP Walnut Baking Pieces [chopped more]
1 TBSP Honey
4 TBSP Old Fashioned Quaker Oats
1 TBSP Dark Chocolate Chips [chopped]
Vanilla Coconut Macadamia Nut (makes 10 balls)
3/4 cup Natural Peanut Butter
1 TBSP Honey
2 TBSP sliced Almonds
2 TBSP Milled Flaxseed
*Directions are the same for each flavor.
1. Combine all ingredients [for that flavor] into medium sized mixing bowl. Mix together all ingredients until evenly distributed.

2. Next, roll balls into small [1 TBSP], sized balls and place on a brown paper bag lined pan.
Placing them on a brown paper bag will help absorb the oils from the Peanut Butter [which is where majority of the oils come from].
3. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes or until chilled//slightly hardened. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or freezer if you wish to store them for longer.
The batter will be gooey, + your hands will get oily from the peanut butter-- putting them in the freezer is a quick way to get rid of the oils.
I love these for breakfast, preworkout, post workout, dessert, midday-beat-that-3:30-feeling-snack, I love this all the time!

Did I mention I loved them?
These Protein Packed Energy Balls have just the right amount of carbs + fats + proteins to keep you full, focused and on the right health track. Honestly, I had 2 [one of each flavor, who do you think I am, duh] for breakfast on my way to work at 8AM & I wasn't hungry until 12:30PM... now, that's a awesome breakfast.

 Oh, and did I mention these are Cabela Approved?
Nutrition per Energy Ball 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Flavor
185 Calories, 10.5g Carbs, 14g Fat, 8g Protein
Vanilla Coconut Flavor
175 Calories, 8.5g Carbs, 13.6g Fat, 8g Protein
Have a fit + fantastic day everyone!
Stay positive + on track!
*Disclaimer: The AboutTime Protein and Nikki's Coconut Butter products were sent to me as a promotional item for my review. I love the products and was more than happy to promote them on my blog. I received no compensation and my opinions are mine and mine alone.