Archives for October 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Banana mash + Golden Raisins

Oat Mixture

The whole she-bang!

Before baking…

Looks like granola pie…

Holy

Granola!

Healthy Golden Banana Oat Bars:

Ingredients:
1/4 c. unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. grapeseed oil
1 tsp Mexican vanilla extract
2 medium very ripe bananas
1/3 c. golden raisins
1.5 c. rolled oats (for gluten free use gluten free oats)
1/2 c. unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. almond flour (or flour of your choice)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-in square pan with parchment paper. (I used a round 9 in-cake pan and it worked out just fine).
2. In a medium bowl combine the sugar, almond milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk well.
3. Cut the bananas into chunks and stir into the wet mixture. Grab a fork or potato masher and mash the banana into the wet mixture. It is okay if some chunks remain. Stir in raisins and set aside.
4. In another bowl mix your dry ingredients. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir well.
5. Scoop the granola batter into the pan. Smooth it out using a spatula or your hands and press it down firmly.
6. Bake at 350 F for 35-40 minutes until the edges begin to golden and it is slightly firm to the touch. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cooling completely. Slice into 12-14 small squares.

MANGIA!!!

Meatless Monday: It’s Peanut Butter Time!

Nuts for Peanuts!!!

Speechless…

No Words…

Do you see what I am talking about?

Happy Monday everyone!
I hope y’all enjoyed the weekend. Round these parts we have been blessed with some beautiful weather, cool weather in the mornings and sunny afternoons! My seester and I ran the trails yesterday morning at Town Lake…we ended just in time to watch the sun rising over the downtown skyline, it was absolutely breathtaking, and where was my camera? At home, of course! When I arrived home I felt that it was the perfect day to make my favorite banana cake, sans coconut. I was feeling like I wanted more banana flavor. The house smelled absolutely wonderful! Banana bread always reminds me of home, my grandma always has some ready to eat when I visit. I rounded out my Sunday evening at a Bikram yoga class with some of my fave working gals. If you don’t know what Bikram yoga is, here is a short snippet: it is a form of yoga that consists of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises performed in a heated room (about 105 F, 40% humidity). The class usually runs about 90 minutes long, so get ready to get your sweat on. Literally, you will be drenched in sweat throughout the entire class. I have only been doing Bikram for about two months, and I absolutely love it. You might think, no way, that is too hot, but think again! I have never felt so good in my entire life, it’s a total endorphin rush and I feel so happy each and every time I do a class. It’s addicting, but it is definitely a curve ball in my exercise routine, I have really embraced changing things up a bit. It suits me quite well! I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

Bikram can be quite exhausting and I always go to class well prepared, eating a good energizing snack about an hour before class…nothing too heavy! I have definitely learned my lesson eating a heavy meal before a yoga class, turkey burger+yoga inversions=no bueno for Chelsy! Anyway, I made my first homemade peanut butter recipe on Friday and before class I enjoyed it with some crackers. It was just what I needed and I powered my way through class! I owned it! By now, you should all know about my love affair with peanut butter. It is pretty sick, I have an addiction! Now, I have tried almond butter, cashew butter, and even macadamia nut butter, but nothing can knock my beloved peanut butter, extra crunchy please! I tried some all natural peanut butter last week and was life altering. No, seriously. It was soooo good I had to try my hand at my own recipe. Not to toot my own horn, but TOOT TOOT! I knocked it out of the park. I don’t know if I will ever purchase a jar of JIF again (maybe not…), this peanut butter is truly amazing! It is super simple to make and only requires 4 ingredients!

I wanted to create my own unique recipe so I took what I had on hand and made Vanilla-Agave Peanut Butter…can you guess what’s in it? This peanut butter is so creamy that I was practically salivating while spooning it into the canning jars. I took a spoon and went to town…perfect combination of creamy peanut butter with just the right amount of sweetness from the agave…add a cinnamon-y flavor of Mexican vanilla and BAM! Holy Moly! This is seriously the only peanut butter recipe you will ever need, so I advise all of you to give it a whirl! I promise you won’t be disappointed. Do whatever you wish with it, make a p.b. and j sandwich, spread it on some crackers, or if you are feeling really healthy grab some celery sticks. But, whatever you do, do it now!

Homemade Vanilla-Agave Peanut Butter:

Ingredients:
3 c. dry, roasted peanuts
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. Mexican vanilla extract
1/4 c. agave nectar (you can use honey if you wish)

Instructions:
1. Add peanuts to a food processor and blend until a thick nut butter forms, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Stream in the olive oil and vanilla with the food processor on, continuing to run it until the mixture is smooth, takes about 5 minutes.
3. Turn off the food processor, add the agave, and turn the food processor back on. Blend until smooth.
4. Keep it at room temperature for a week, or if keeping longer, refrigerate in a sealable container.

Makes two 8 oz. jars

MANGIA!!!

Friday Link Love: Tribute to Whole Foods Market!!!

Picture perfect!

Creamy and dreamy…

Mangia, Mangia!

Potatoes Tex-Mex style!

Simplicity at its best!

Yum-diddylicious!

Gobble, gobble those enchiladas!

What can I say? No words…

A soup that has my heart…

Be nice….

Happy Friday all,
So by now you should all know that I have a “tiny” obsession with this “little” supermarket, you may know it…it’s called Whole Foods. Ya, well Whole Foods has been my second home since my move to Austin. When I say second home, I mean literally…I am practically there everyday, weather it is to purchase fresh produce or stock up on their salad and/or hot foods bar. I am telling you, I could definitely go broke shopping there. I frequent Whole Foods so much I am pretty sure the employers there have a secret code name to identify me…maybe something like ‘frequent shopper girl,’ or ‘our number one source of income’! Haha! Some of the employers actually know me by first name which has its advantages, yet is sometimes embarrassing especially when an employee says, “Hey, your back again…!” (awkward pause between us) and I reply with something like “I know I am addicted to this place,” or “Well, a girl’s gotta eat.” Since shopping at Whole Foods I have figured out the ins and outs of getting exactly what I want. For instance, I am pretty darn sure that one of the older ladies working behind the cold prepared foods counter is fed up with me ordering the same marinated chicken breast for lunch everyday. I swear she was going to slap me around the other day after I made her search through the pile of grilled chicken to find me a rather large piece. What can I say, I was hungry! Plus, I am not about to pay $4 for a piece of chicken that is smaller than my hand. I want to get my money’s worth gosh darn it! So, I have developed a plan of attack for getting what I want and it works beautifully! What I do is I enter the supermarket, bag in hand, and if I need help I ask the first male employee that I can find. It must be something about a good-looking girl because they always seem eager to help and 100% of the time get me exactly what I am looking for. For example, my favorite dressing isn’t out at the food bar, no problem, I just grab the nearest food bar prep guy and he goes “in the back” to get me a bottle. I have come to realize that “in the back” refers to a secret area of whole foods where you go for the special customers…or maybe just the high maintenance ones! That’s me! I am such a regular whole foodie that I should just build a tent in the middle of the store, somewhere between the coffee bar and the hot foods bar (two places I frequent the most!). That has got me thinking…you know, Whole Foods should just pay me to shop there as often as I shop + for the amount of publicity I give them on my blog I should be dubbed the queen of Whole Foods. Anyway, what I am trying to say is that Whole Foods Market is awesome and definitely has a special place in my heart. So, today I am paying tribute to Whole Foods by posting my Top Ten Whole Foods Market Recipes! Thank you Whole Foods for all you do in making my trip to the supermarket effortless, making my wheat grass shot extra pungent, and for putting those cute male food bar workers behind the counter, waiting to assist my every need. Whole Foods, you rock!

Top Ten Whole Foods Market Recipes:

1. White Bean and Spinach Salad: Well, look at that…who would have thought one of my faves would be a salad. I remember the first time I encountered this salad at WF’s salad bar. I hadn’t tried white beans before so I didn’t know what to expect. After one bite, I knew that we would be best friends forever. Seriously, this salad is absolutely delicious. It is super simple to make, all you need is cannellini beans, red onion, and spinach. However, the best part about this salad, in my opinion, is the sassy Dijon dressing. It really adds a good amount of zing to the salad, while the beans give it a creamy texture. I will most likely have this salad at lunch today. I can’t wait!
2. Low-Fat Creamy Caesar Dressing: Here is a fun fact: I am absolutely in love with Whole Foods in-house salad dressings. It seems like they come up with a couple of different dressing recipes every year and just my luck, those dressings are featured at the salad bar. My fave is their tahini dressing, but unfortunately they don’t have the recipe posted on the web. However, a couple of months ago I was introduced to this vegan version of Caesar dressing. Now, I myself am not a huge fan of Caesar salad, I had a bad experience once with a “Caesar salad” at a well-known restaurant chain, we’ll just call it The Garden of Olives, where I was served wilted romaine lettuce covered in a sea of dressing…let’s just say the experience left me asking, “Can I have a little dressing with my anchovies?” Yuck, never again! Needless to say I was a little hesitant to try this dressing, but I figured since WF’s was out of my fave tahini dressing I would live on the edge for that day. Obviously, I made an excellent choice because this vegan Caesar dressing was the bomb-dizzle. It is made with a tofu base to add that creamy texture that you would normally get with a Caesar dressing. I was surprised at how much it actually tasted like caesar dressing! The flavors were exactly the same, and bonus, it’s actually healthy for you! I would drizzle this dressing over a romaine salad wedge with homemade croutons. A plus in my book Whole Foods!
3: Pepperoni Pizza Polenta Bake: Alright, let’s get down to it! Whole Foods definitely knows what they are doing when it comes to pizza! Usually the first thing I see when I walk into Whole Foods is the pizza counter. I just love to stand in front of the glass pane and watch the pizza guy make the dough, spread it with a combination of different toppings, and pop it into their wood-fired pizza oven! My plan is to have one of those ovens built in my dream home one day. No joke. I usually talk to the pizza guy and get my self a sample of their latest and greatest, last week I tried the pineapple and chorizo pizza, absolutely too die for! Anyway, when I saw this recipe, I knew there was no turning back. This dish is like a polenta casserole with all the flavors of a pepperoni pizza built right in. Definitely a great comfort food dish! I bet this would be an awesome family meal, definitely good for big crowds and kids will love it! Win!
4. Twice-Baked Tex-Mex Potato: Say what? A potato stuffed with pinto beans and salsa, topped with cheddar cheese and baked until ooey gooey. Don’t forget the sour cream! That’s how we do Tex-Mex round’ these here parts in Texas y’all! Ole!
5. Grilled Red Snapper with Strawberry and Avocado Salsa: One of my favorite sections of WF’s is the seafood counter. Their seafood is always so fresh and they are always encouraging me to try new fish. So far, I have had no complaints! Red snapper is by far my favorite fish in the world. My family often drives to the wholesale seafood market down by the bay on the weekends. I can remember that my dad always used to get a whole fillet of red snapper and grill it up! So good! The sweet and creamy salsa pairs wonderfully with the mild taste of the fish, that is so moist it practically melts in your mouth. Mangia!!!
6. Gorgonzola and Sun-dried Tomato Bison Burgers: The first time I ever encountered bison meat was at WF’s. I was sort of hesitant about trying meat from an animal that is that hairy! I got over that fear quick! The combination of the succulent, flavorful bison meat, creamy Gorgonzola, and rich sun-dried tomatoes will definitely be the star of the show at your next backyard barbecue. I suggest serving on a toasted whole wheat bun with all the fixins’…I’ll take mine with iceberg lettuce and a bit of mayo. Please, thanks!
7. Tomatillo Turkey Enchiladas: I can always rest assured to find some sort of enchilada dish at WF’s hot bar. I have encountered everything from veggie enchiladas to migas enchiladas, yes, migas enchiladas. But these turkey enchiladas definitely take the cake! This is a super easy meal combine leftover shredded turkey, canned enchilada sauce, salsa Verde, and Monterrey jack cheese, roll it all up into a corn tortilla, top with more enchilada sauce, bake off until melty, cheesy goodness, and here is the real kicker, top with crumbled feta cheese! That is my kind of meal, definitely perfect for a quick and easy meal on a busy weeknight! Not to mention great leftover turkey idea for Thanksgiving!
8. “Creamed” Kale: My love affair with kale soon began with a salad similar to this at WF’s. I used to take one look at kale and turn and run the other way. Now, it is my absolute favorite leafy green. This kale salad is a clever spin on a creamed spinach, yet instead of actual cream, the dressing is made of raw cashews and non-dairy milk. This is a vegan foodies dream kale. I would serve this as a side with barbecue chicken, baked beans, and coleslaw. I might even add a glass of sweet tea!
9. Hearty Minestrone Soup: Now, say it with me people, in Italian, minnestonneh (with emphasis on the third syllable). Minestrone is one of my top favorite soups and I can always rest assure that WF’s has this at their soup bar during the winter time. I mean c’mon it’s like Italian chili. This soup is loaded with veggies, beans, and pasta…it’s practically a meal in itself. I would serve sprinkled with a bit of fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Don’t forget the toasted garlic bread and possibly a small green salad (hint: you’ll need something on the side to make you feel good for using the bread as a utensil). No utensils here!
10. Banana Nice Cream: No, that is not a typo, I actually said banana nice cream, not ice cream. This is where WF’s gets crafty with there genius recipes. You can have this dessert in three easy steps and with only three ingredients. You won’t miss the full fat stuff one bit! I guarantee it!

MANGIA!!!

P.S. I totally wrote this entire post while sitting @ Whole Foods!

A Not So Wordless Wednesday: Faces of Beauty!!!

Happy Wednesday everyone!
Normally I would never speak a word in a Wednesday post but today I have some exciting news to share with all of you! No, it’s not about me…I already shared my exciting Food buzz Festival news (btw I bought my plane ticket and I need recommendations for eats near Union Square, so if you have them, send them my way). Today I want to take some time to acknowledge a fellow blogger that I follow who has impacted my life so much…and we have never even met! Can you believe it? That is how much this lady has made an impact on me! The woman that I am speaking of is Heather, you may know her from Heather’s Dish, where she dishes out some amazing recipes. However, that is only one of Heather’s blogs (I am telling you this woman is a super woman …two blogs? My hero!). Anyway, today I am here to recognize her blog, Faces of Beauty. So, a little info. about how I was introduced to Heather’s blog(s). You know that new job that I have? Well, that job has lead me to meet some amazing friends who have pretty much become family members in my book. One of my new family members, Salah, who is Heather’s sister, knows that I have little blogger dreams and wasted no time introducing me to Heather’s blogs. Salah is the queen of public relations. Thanks Salah (totally love that lady)!

The second I took a look at Heather’s blogs I was struck by a little something called INSPIRATION! Heather is truly inspiring and her Faces of Beauty blog is a prime example. Heather created Faces of Beauty after a long battle with disordered eating. Like a pro, she rose from the ashes and discovered her true beauty. In turn, she decided to share this realization with others. That is where Faces of Beauty plays the star role, acting as a hub where others can come to learn how to love themselves just the way they are, no strings attached! Heather’s mission with Faces of Beauty is to celebrate the astounding and unique beauty that makes each and every one of us who we are. Faces of Beauty gives us the power to take a stand against societal pressures to look a certain way and allows us the opportunity to share what we truly love about ourselves. So, how Faces of Beauty works is, you just take a happy picture of yourself from the shoulders up and email it to Heather at heathersdish@gmail.com. Make sure you include a little note (500 words or less) about yourself, what makes you beautiful, and/or your journey to love yourself. Then, you are guaranteed a spot on the blog, where your photo and paragraph will be posted under your name. The best part about it is that you get to share what makes you beautiful and inspire others to have that same confidence.

Heather’s hope is that Faces of Beauty will help start a revolution of men, women, and children learning to love themselves just as they are! To me, she has already fulfilled this goal! Heather is a true embodiment of beauty in the way that she has encouraged others to realize their true beauty. She has made me realize that true beauty is not looking stick thin, wearing a lot of make-up, dressing like a movie star, or acting how others want you to act. It’s about your true inner beauty, what makes you, you, and how your beauty shines through. Like many women, I have struggled with self-esteem issues in the past, and it took me a while to realize that I couldn’t go through life focusing on the negatives (or what I thought were the negatives), but instead focus on the positives. So, I made a pact with myself to start loving who I was…ever since then I find numerous things that I like about myself every day. I don’t have that little hateful person in my head anymore telling me that I am not good enough or not beautiful enough. My face of beauty is a direct reflection of my passion for life, family, God, and of course, food. Food plays a big role in my ability to passionately love other people…I want my food to be a direct reflection of the love I have for others with each dish that I create. This is the real me. This is what makes me a true face of beauty.

Now, for the awesome part!!! Faces of Beauty is up for Shape Magazines Best Blogger Awards, this has been a huge dream of Heather’s and it is finally being realized with her nomination for the best Healthy Living Blog. I would be ecstatic is you would take a hot minute and click on this link here and vote for Faces of Beauty. The winner will win an opportunity to have a video on Shape.com and potentially even a mention in an upcoming issue of Shape Magazine! Heather and Faces of Beauty is completely deserving of this award. Being able to share the purpose of this blog with the entire world would mean the world to Heather! So, go vote! In the mean time, please check out Faces of Beauty and let Heather know what makes you beautiful. Let’s all join the movement together! Remember to tell yourself “I am beautiful” each and every day and remember that we all are Faces of Beauty. So, I’m curious what makes you beautiful?

MANGIA!!!

My first no bake dessert recipe and 100th post!!!

Hello Chocolate Oat Goodness!

The cookies before their trip to the freezer

Tower of cookies!

Hello my friends!

Happy Tuesday everyone!
Today is already off to a great start, went to yoga this morning and stretched it out…honestly, I don’t know how I did it without coffee in my system, but no worries, I am fully caffeinated now! Can you tell? Anyhoo, as I was browsing through my posts yesterday I realized that today is my 100th post…can you believe it? I am so ecstatic! Mangia and I have come an extremely long way since our first post. So, I just wanted to share my excitement and express my gratitude for all my wonderful followers. You guys and gals are awesome and I seriously live to share my life stories and recipes with each and every one of you. Grazie tanto!!! I thought I would celebrate my 100th recipe post with all of you by posting my first no bake dessert recipe. When I began Mangia I was introduced to so many great food blogs, one of them being Oh She Glows. The voice behind Oh She Glows is my home girl Angela Liddon, who is basically one bad mamma jamma. This lady is truly dedicated to sustaining a healthy living blog, providing people with the inspiration and motivation to lead happy, healthy lives. Anyway, she has some amazing healthy recipes, most of them vegan, and absolutely delicious. I was browsing through her no bake recipes the other day and came across these yummy looking cookies. I have never posted a no bake dessert recipe here before (at least I don’t think I have) and these looked way to good to pass up! The original recipe calls for rolled oats but I substituted gluten-free rolled oats (I wanted my sis to be able to enjoy these on our road trip this past weekend). I also omitted the buckwheat groats, whatever those are…? I must say that my first no-bake recipe turned out magnificently! The chocolate and oatmeal compliment each other perfectly while the banana adds a hint of sweetness. I am normally partial to cookies with a crunch, but the chewy texture of this cookie is to die for! So, in this case I will make an exception. Did I mention that these take about 5 minutes to put together? For an added bonus, they require very few ingredients, hence the quick preparation time. Last perk: they are extremely healthy so no-guilt is involved in chowing down on a couple of these babies! I suggest getting into the kitchen and making these effortless no bake cookies, I guarantee they will satisfy your chocolate craving!

Frosty No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (adapted from Oh She Glows)

Ingredients:
1/2 c. rolled oats (I used gluten-free rolled oats)
1/4 c. non-dairy chocolate chips (you can use regular chips if you prefer)
1 large banana
1 tsp. Mexican vanilla extract
1 Tbs. chia seeds (optional)
1 tsp. cocoa powder
sweetener, if preferred

Instructions:
1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips for about 60 seconds being careful not to burn. Remove from microwave and stir so the rest of the chips melt.
2. Roughly chop the banana and mash it into the melted chips with a fork.
3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients into the chocolate and banana and stir very well until the oats are completely coated with chocolate.
4. Line a plate with parchment paper and drop about 7 cookies onto it. Alternatively, you can also use muffin liners.
5. Freeze for about 1 hour or until firm. Cookies will firm up, but they wont become solid and will remain chewy. Leave in the freezer for a quick chocolate fix any time of the day.

Makes 7 small cookies.

MANGIA!!!