Monday, July 28, 2014

Clean Eating Sweet Potato "Burgers" + Weekend Recap

Soo it's almost August and this is really confusing to me?? I have a 3 day work week as I'm flying to Atlanta on Thursday to be in one of my college BFF's weddings (her bachelorette party was in Charleston 2 weeks ago)! I am zoo excited (and a tiny bit nervous that the bridesmaid dress isn't going to fit considering I have done nothing but travel/eat/drink my face off for the last 8 weeks).

Anyway, last week I made these sweet potato "burgers" as my lunch for the week and they were delicious paired with spinach, tomatoes, avocado, and of course Greek Yogurt. Sidenote: I wonder if I'll ever get tired of Greek Yogurt and/or avocados?

Servings: 6 patties
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins (to bake the potato) + 20 minutes (to cook the patties)

  • 1 cup of sweet sweet potato, mashed (I did this by microwaving 1 sweet potato for 10 minutes) ($1.00)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and mashed in a bowl ($1.00)
  • 2/3 cup oat flour (old fashioned oats in the blender)
  • 1/3 cup whole old fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon garlic seasoning
  • dash of salt and pepper
Combine the mashed potato and mashed garbanzo beans in a large bowl and mix well. Add the oat flour and oats and mix (I mixed with a spoon- no fancy tools here) until you have a pretty thick consistency going. 

Form the mixture into 6 flat patties and cook over medium heat in a non-stick pan (I always use coconut oil spray) for about 10 minutes on each side. Note: I didn't have any problems with mine falling apart but if you do, just add more oats.

So the weekend was pretty mellow. Friday afternoon, Harrison, Andi and I battled miz traffic on I-95 to get home to Richmond.

I had all kinds of grand plans for our trip such as: meeting up with friends Friday night to go to the bars, haircut, brunch with friends, dinner party, neighbor's play, more partying. However we were both exhausted and slept most of Saturday (much needed) sooo only 2 things on my agenda happened, and that's ok. Learning to live with things not going according to plan here..

We were in town to see my neighbor in a teen production of Footloose and had a few cocktails with the neighbors before heading to the performance. Our neighbor Pete had tried this cocktail in Canada and it was so delicious (3 parts prosecco, 2 parts Aperol liqueur (it's an orangey tasting thing), and a splash of club soda. So refreshing!):

Then we headed over to the production and it was incredible. The dedication and talent that we saw was insane, and who doesn't love Footloose?? 

Confession: I cried about 5 times during the play. Does this happen to anyone else? Live performances of all kinds (especially involving kids) just make me so overwhelmingly happy and the waterworks start. #embarrassing

Family after the play- that's our neighbor Claire the star in the middle!
Afterwards we stayed up for awhile drinking then hit the road Sunday morning to get back to DC. Since I'll be gone for Harrison's birthday (August 1st- we're separated for 2 different weddings womp womp), we are currently celebrating 10 Days of Harrison and last night I tried to make my own version of his favorite cake which is KFC Chocolate Chip Cake. Turned out pretty good! Recipe and recap of 10 Days coming next week!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favs: Backyard Essentials (on SALE)

Did yall know we just got Wal-Mart in DC?? Did yall further know that after the 4th of July pretty much all outdoor/patio stuff goes on sale at Wal-Mart?!!! Well I was a kid in a candy store browsing through the outdoor section the other day (I had 3 things on my list to pick up...I forgot about what a list-suck Wal-Mart is). My backyard is approximately 10 feet long and 5 feet wide but all these things can fit into it. All of them. And then we officially have the best party yard on the block. Look at these amazing summer time things on sale there:

1. $150 Bar & Party Cooler || 2. $89 Gravity Free Recliner || 3. $13 Bocce Set || 4. $250 Tableset || 5. $39 Firepit || 6. $15.00 Inflatable Kiddie Pool

Ok so #2 Gravity Free Recliner- HAVE YOU TRIED THESE YET?? At first I was like psh $89 for a chair? Then I sat in it and was like "give me ALL THE gravity free recliners NOW!". And the kiddie pool! What a perfect way to cool off when you live in DC and pool memberships involve 3 year waitlists or $30 guest fees!

So tell me: what is your ideal back yard item??

PS I don't want to talk about the fact that this stuff is on sale because "summer is winding down" because that is pretty much the saddest thing ever. They also had a back to school display that made me feel nauseas.

PSS My fav Kristen at Kandid Kristen is having a blogaversary giveaway- go check it out!

Linking up today with my favorite Amanda- come join!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Clean Snacking: Taste of Nature Snack Bars

Clean snacking on vacation = strugglecity, am I right?? Thankfully I got my hands on these Taste of Nature clean eating snack bars to try just in time for my Charleston trip. We had our own little tasting party and took the leftovers to the beach.

Not only were these a great clean snack, they were clutch on the beach because unlike fruit, veggies and yogurt(my go-to clean snacks), they don't get mushy or go bad from sitting in my bag in the heat all day.

So here's the scoop on Taste of Nature: They work with family farmers to create delicious, certified organic, gluten-free certified, non-gmo project verified snack bars with real, nuts, fruits and grains that you can see (and under 200 calories, too). Nothing artificial, no fillers and no chemicals (say whaat? in a SNACK BAR?). As an organic snack bar, they contain more nutrients and vitamins than the average not organic snack.

According to a recent Taste of Nature survey, Americans struggle to snack nutritiously (guilty) and their top consideration when snacking is taste (very guilty). Let me tell you, I was not missing out on any tastes with these puppies. My favorite flavor was Himalayan Goji Summit- it was the perfect balance of fruit and nuts (hi sweet and salty!).

These snack bars come in 5 other flavors:  Brazilian Nut Festival (close 2nd favorite), California Almond Valley, Quebec Cranberry Carnival, Canadian Maple Forest, and Persian Pomegranate Garden. They retail for $1.99 and are available at fine natural food product stores and grocery retailers (click here for where to buy). I found mine at Yes! Organic Market across the street from my work and at Whole Foods down the street. 

While $1.99 is a little steep for a snack bar, this is definitely a great option for vacay snacks. $1.99 is cheaper than any other snack (healthy OR unhealthy) at the airport, and most beach stands and restaurants don't offer healthy snack options. Plus it's easy to pack- I've made the mistake of packing a peach and plum in my carry-on (security check = fruit ends up at the bottom of my bag = bruised fruits and juice covered Kindle) and this was a much better option. Plus on vacation I usually grab the most convenient snack which is a (not clean) single serving of chips that costs ~$1.50 and keeps me full for approximately 35 minutes. Or I stop at the most convenient place- McDonald's?- where the healthiest snack option is snack wraps at $1.60 that also keep me full for 35 minutes and give me zero energy/nutrients/all that good stuff. 

Speaking of energy I ate these one morning before my beach run (YES I ran on vacation! Once..) and I stayed full the whole run and after. These were super filling, and for a clean snack I would definitely buy these again.

Running is not so horrible when this is your view.

So tell me: what do you snack on at the airport? How do you stay healthy on vacay? 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.