Thursday, November 29, 2012


I LOVE tomatoes. Capitalizing “love” may actually be an understatement. More like…LOVE. Yes, that much! Whether in sauce, salsa, or even plain, I just enjoy tomatoes. While for snack most people grab their yogurt or cheese stick, I grab my tomatoey friends and take a bite.

Story time. I was at the mall with a friend and chose some of the plumpest tomatoes at a nearby supermarket. I walked into William Sonoma, and bit into my tomato (yes whole tomato) as the employee asks, “Is that a tomato?”. Don’t knock it till you try it. Alas, tomato season is coming to an end, but I have been enjoying my favorite snack from the jar. Yep, you didn’t misread that. I’ve been eating plain salsa. No tortilla chips, no crackers, no carrots, just spooning it up! But, if you had tried some of the amazing salsas I buy, you wouldn’t be giving me that weird confused face right now.

Salsa Roll

1. Target has a mighty good jarred mango peach salsa. I don’t even recall how I happened upon it, but it has big chunks of pineapple. It is pretty sweet, with a teensy weensy bit of spice. It also has a tomatoey taste. This is a really sugary sweet salsa though so it may be an acquired taste. This is really the ONLY salsa I buy out of a jar. Who would have thought—Target. They also have other flavors if you are solely opposed to the fruity types. The pineapple mango variety is also yummy, but a decent bit hotter. My nose actually started to run.


2. Whole Foods has an ahhmmazing variety of fresh salsas. Between their pico de gallo, mango salsa, and even watermelon, they have some of the freshest and most flavorful varieties. These are usually located right next to the cut up fruit. But, if you can’t find them, ask a very helpful team member. The pico de gallo has large pieces of juicy tomatoes with some onions and a hint of seasoning. The mango salsa is always full of the freshest mangos. But, that watermelon salsa is amazing. It sometimes has jicama included, lime juice, and pepper. Caliente! Not to completely contradict the point of the post, the mango salsa and watermelon salsa aren’t tomatoey, but I always seem to associate salsa with tomatoes so I’m including them because you usually also eat them with chips.


3. Lastly, good ol’ Trader Joes. I go to the refrigerated section and seem to enjoy any of their pico de gallo salsas. But, stay away from the bruschetta. I used to love this, but recently bought one that was spoiled before I even opened it! Hopefully this was a one off.

On a fitness related note (not having anything to do with tomatoes). I am very excited to have finally made my way over to Target to buy some hand weights for Turbokick. I see everyone wearing them and figured it was finally time to acquire a pair. They really add a new dimension to my workouts with some mighty sore arms by the end of my workout. But, not too sore J

I also added a little more Latin spice to my life last week by taking a special Zumba class in Seattle at 24 Hour Fitness. I am not usually the biggest Zumba fan, but this class was super fun. I much prefer the modern hip-hop style. I can not tell you how much fun it is to Zumba to Gangnam Style.
On another note, I whipped up some of my famous fizzy lemonade for a debate tournament I judged. Yum! Store bought lemonade has so much added sugar. I like to get back to the basics by whipping up my own with lemons off the bush. I put it in my water bottle for an on-the-go drink! It also tastes so much fresher! For debate tournaments, this fizzy drink is especially symbolic with the eventful nature of these competitions...
Shake It Up Fizzy Lemonade Recipe
2 large lemons
1 tablespoon sugar (or more for taste)
6-8 oz. carbonated water (in water bottle)
1. Squeeze the lemons out. You can either use a juicer or work those muscles squeezing my hand.
2. Pour the juice and sugar into your carbonated water bottle
3. Shake it up. Wait a couple minutes for air particles to return to normal before opening (yes I have had some explosions with that).
4. Drink up! You'll be shocked at just how fresh off the bush it tastes.
For audience enjoyment, I'm going to provide some of my debate tournament thoughts below. Judging high school debate leads to some fun times and listening to high schoolers discuss due process can lead to some...interesting scenarios. Fellow debaters will especially enjoy this:
Thought 1: These kids sound like they want to kill each other during cross ex...Awk apples. I feel like the third wheel in this argument.
Thought 2: One of the debaters says "I have three minutes of prep time...I'm just going to use it and see where it takes me." To some good arguments I hope...
Thought 3: Dude this kid is MEAN...alas he's correct.
Thought 4: These judges are sure excited about cheese and bacon...I'll stick with my pumpkin thank you very much.
Thought 5: Who needs tv with this super debate drama.
Thought 6: Woo hoo! This judge lady is totally matching my awesomeness in workout wear. Yoga gear all the way. Too bad that debaters have to wear suits...I much prefer my yoga pants.
Thought 7: I feel like I'm chewing my jicama super loudly during this round...ah well, at least it's quieter than carrots. But, it's so delicious!
In conclusion, today is one of those days where along with the yummy recipe, you get a bit of unsolicited humor :) Sorry about that, but my brain travels. Have a thoroughly terrific Thursday.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hey...Lookee Here

Wow! I was browsing the Arctic Zero website and what do I come across on the recipe page, but my recipe!

Coincidentally enough, I had just made my way to Sprouts yesterday and stocked up on three flavors! The Vanilla Maple, Mint Chocolate Cookie, and the Coffee. I never know what I'll be in the mood for so I am always prepared. I finally saw the Pumpkin flavor on the shelves, but they were discontinuing Strawberry and Cookies and Cream..hmmmm.

Lately I have been eating lots of brocolli. At my aunt's house for Thanksgiving. she had this delicious teriyaki sauce that I couldn't get enough of!
On that note, I used it in a fantabulous recipe for tofu, brocolli and pineapple stir fry!


1 head brocolli
1/4 package tofu
1/2 pineapple
2 tablespoons teriyaki or any yummy Asian sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Grab a stir fry pan and heat oil.
2. Add the brocolli in first and cook until softened.
3. Add the tofu and pineapple in.
4. Cook thoroughly (medium/low heat) until brocolli is a tiny bit brown, and then add your sauce.
5. Serve it up! The sugar in the pineapple adds a sweet taste as the sugar carmelizes! The teriyaki sauce coating the pineapple create a flavor explosion.

This is an absolutely delicious dinner, and you can add in other veggies like red peppers if you like.

Things I've been loving lately:
I like making lists (to keep organized and get my thoughts out) so I thought I would list a couple things that I have been loving lately. Let's call it the "Love It List" just to be catchy

1. Watermelon--It's not the season, but I continue to buy the cut watermelon from Trader Joe's. A couple times it has almost been watermelon wine...a bit fermented, but I've still been buying it because they have some of the best watermelon I've ever had!
2. Coffeehouse Classic Cappucino Foam-OMG this stuff is amazing! I am a huge whipped cream fan. I really like the Fat Free Reddi Whip, and I saw this and was hooked. When you serve it cold, it is thick whipped cream. Put it in the microwave, and it turns into foam. So cool!
3. Trader Joe's Pineapple Salsa-Yum! This had large chunks of pineapple, a tomatoey taste, and a tad of spice. So yummy I ate the jar in one night!
4. Stalks of brussel sprouts-I just buy the stalk from Trader Joe's for less than $3! So cheap and delicious.
5. Grilling--I was lucky enough to have grilled eggplant for lunch at work today! I love that charry grilled flavor especially with a vegetable like eggplant. I had grilled veggies two days in a row.
6. Key Limes-I bought a big bag of them. I've been craving sour lately, and I sprinkle a bit of sugar on them. De-lish.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Roasted Brussel Sprouts...With a (shhhh)Secret ingredient!

Hello peeps!

Happy day of black consumerism. Well, the day of giving thanks has come and gone. But, the recipe I ended up making will be around for a while due to its deliciousness. I ended up cooking some scrumptious roasted brussel sprouts. As we all know by day, following recipes can make me a bit bored So...I, of course, added a secret ingredient.


1-2 stalks of brussel sprouts (The stalks are super awesome. I feel like I could hang a bag off the end and become a brussel sprout nomad. The brussel sprouts condense so 1 stalk may seem like enough, but I actually ate half of my first batch...oopsy.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (Yep, the secret ingredient. This adds a very nice taste of sweetness.)


1. Rip the brussel sprouts off the stalk and cut the ends off. (Note: The reasons many people dislike brussel sprouts is because the ends are very bitter. If they didn't eat the ends, these babies may have had a better rep.)

2. Put the brussel sprouts in a bowl and microwave for four minutes. This is very important to soften them up a bit before baking--another step to avoid bitterness.

3. Mix the olive oil, vanilla, and balsamic.

4. Put the brussel sprouts on a baking sheet, and pour the mixture over them.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until they are nicely browned and chewy.

ENJOY! I literally don't think I have consumed such large quantities of brussel sprouts in my life. I probably ate almost three cups of them.

I am also going to try to make brussel sprout chips soon because some of the leaves that fell off the sprout became very crunchy when baked. Yum! New idea alert....

Pictures of these babies will be coming very soon :)

There weren't any brussel sprouts left for brekkie (darn). So instead I ate some of my dad's delicious cornbread and a honeydew melon...yes an entire honeydew. It was too sweet to resist.  

Did you have any of your meal as your morning after breakfast?

Happy Fri(Buy)day!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Miracle Rice 'Tapioca' Power Protein Pudding

Well I was only going to do one post today, but a miracle happened (no pun intended).

I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited about a concoction in my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am a big fan of tapioca pudding. I used to think it was rather yucky, but that sweet creamy vanilla-like taste grew on me. I have also recently acquired a taste for Miracle Rice. This is made by the same company that makes the Miracle Noodles. I actually really enjoy their taste. Post work out, I was craving a nice tapioca pudding, but that’s not exactly the best protein filled snack. Hmmm. I put on my thinking cap and suddenly IT CAME TO ME. One of the best recipe ideas I have had in my life!

I can use miracle rice to simulate tapioca pearls. They take on the taste of the sauce so I can definitely use them in a pudding.


6 oz EAS Advantag Vanilla Shake or you can of course use milk

2 scoops protein powder

1 bag miracle rice

4-5 tablespoons Fage Greek Yogurt (Depends on how thick you want it. Fage is a great yogurt to use because of its thickness.)

And if you want to serve this as a satisfying Thanksgiving dessert, add in cranberries to the recipe for another hint of sweet and tartness!

For this recipe, put everything in a bowl or saucepan.

1. I poured in the miracle rice first.

2. Then I added the vanilla protein shake.

3. Then add your protein powder and give it a good mixing. I just used a spoon, but would be curious to see the consistency if you did use an electric mixer.

4. Finally, add in the greek yogurt to thicken. You can always add more if you desire thicker pudding.

5. If you are using milk, you may want to add a bit of sugar or Stevia to sweeten.

6. Give it a final mix and you’re ready to go.

This recipe honestly made my day. I can’t believe how similar this tasted to tapioca. It was thick with that sweet vanilla flavor plus no need for a protein shake. The miracle rice was the perfect tapioca simulant. You should get about a WHOPPING 50 to 60 grams of protein. This would also be a great on-the-go snack. I am such a happy camper today. If you try this, please tell me how you like it! Have a super Saturday.

Oh, hello there.

Well, about three weeks after starting this blog, I realized I never really formally introduced myself. What…pumpkin isn’t enough introduction? Hello, my name is Libby. The end.

Not really, but it’s really hard to categorize me. During a job interview, someone asked me, “What are three words your friends would use to describe you.” Yah, let’s just say I didn’t really get a call back on that one.

So when people start a blog others wonder why/who cares what this random person is doing with her life out of the billions of other humans in the world including Lindsay Lohan, Justin Bieber, and Rachael Ray (well this is a food/fitness blog so I figured I’d include a food star). I’m not Lindsay. But, considering how much I enjoy writing, people seemed to think it was odd that I didn’t yet have a blog since I like to submit articles to all my local newspapers (just hit 7 published!!!) and really enjoy yelping. And, I like to bake quite frequently as our neighbors would tell you. So I figured why not just document my cooking and baking? Even the failures. I really enjoy reading other blogs and making recipes. However, when I’m too hungry to hit the supermarket, I whip up my own little “concoctions.” This may mean some ingredient substitutions. These concoctions either turn out as the best thing I have ever made or completely inedible. Which is nice because I either have a super yummy new recipe that I end up replicating for about a month in a row or I brush off my hands and start anew.

These recipes seem to be metaphorical to my life. This year has brought the highest of highs and lowest of lows. So along with delicious recipes and fun fitness, I might just have to throw in a few crazy stories. So, as you can see, it’s difficult to categorize me. I study hard and allow academics to overwhelm me at times—but enjoy both intelligence based and performance activities. I am an ex-debater/current Model UNer (yep one of those talky people), but I also am an ex-gymnast, pageant chick (Yes, world peace would be nice), and a Turbokick obsessed fitness girl. The past year of my life has brought new challenges and yummy recipes and foods to go along with them. It’s difficult to know which point people would pick out to categorize me. But, what I know is true, is that a lot of people pick out the healthy eater portion. Vegetarian for 11 years—my mother would say this is an indication of my determination and willpower. But, unlike many, I love veggies and fruits. There are 0 veggies I dislike. Yep, you read that correctly. I don’t just like veggies, I LOVE them. Sometimes, surprisingly, this can get me in a little trouble.

So this blog will be full of concoctions—veggie and otherwise. It will be full of new food products—taste tests shall we call them. It will be full of fun fitness. And possibly realizations or stories—but not too much of the deep stuff.

So, that is a sufficient summary. I like putting the pen to paper or, in this new tech age, the keyboard to computer screen…yah maybe not exactly analogous. Anyway, that’s ME!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

T-Givin:Veg Style

Oh my goodness. It's almost the end of November. How time flies! Well the Turbokick instructors mentioned a special co-taught TKB class for Turkey day. Which reminded me that the day of giving thanks is near!

Oh Thanksgiving. Warming up with some Arctic Zero Peppermint Mochas, eating some delish tofu, and finishing it off with maple pumpkin puree. Where is the turkey you ask? Yah—veg head right here. The typical American always seems to have one complaint on Thanksgiving—“I’m so stuffed.” Let’s just say Thanksgiving isn’t really my holiday. Yes—I am a pumpkin lover, but I associate this more with Halloween. And no I don’t like turkey nor the fake tofu turkey. So I always find myself just having a normal dinner on Thanksgiving. However, I am always able to witness some odd Thanksgiving eating with our family. Apparently, no one in our family, veg or not, seems to care for turkey. I have witnessed the odd courses of lobster, pasta, and even some garlic bread. (One year we went Italian…). So this year I have a great plan in the making! I’m going to try a new Thanksgiving recipe. I am not sure exactly ideas would be greatly appreciated! But, whatever it is, I am going to make it a Thanksgiving staple. Finally have a Thanksgiving tradition. So, what is your favorite T-giving vegetarian dish or concoction that I should make? Pumpkin pie smoothie? Sweet potato super mash?
On another exciting note, I bought some 'Turkey' burgers to try from Whole Foods. This whole fake meat concept seems to be growing on me! Happy day from Friday for those who become enthused about the weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hip Dips--A La Protein

I am a dipping machine. As of lately, I have been craving some good dips. I really enjoy dipping crunchy carrots into anything remotely creamy, spicy, or beany. Yep—I do enjoy my hummus. Well, I had some dip packs sitting in the cabinet. These are basically just expensive spices that you are SUPPOSED to mix with sour cream. Ewwwww. I, personally, am a cream cheese, cottage cheese, and sour cream hater. So, I much prefer whipping out the Fage to make a perfectly delectable, protein filled dip. I had some dill, tomato pesto, and even raspberry white chocolate dip mixes sitting in my cupboard from a fair. Now, the secret to thickening up these delish dips is letting them sit in the fridge overnight! If you eat then right away, they basically taste like seasoned Greek yogurt. However, let them sit and you will have a thick little treat for your carrots, cucumbers, or even pita chips. Or if you are a Trader Joe’s fan—try the lavash chips. This dip will leave you sans salt or savory craving and 20 grams of protein richer if you eat the entire eight ounces (which yes I always do!). The perfect on the go snackeroo.
                                                            Here it is in all its delishnish!

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Favorite Things!

Channeling Mary Poppins....I think.
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I do feel sad. I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don’t feel so baaaaaaaaaaaaaad!

So true! So for you…here are a list of my favorite things (mostly foodwise). Turn that frown upside down. Okay, enough clichés, and on to the list.

1. Favorite protein shake: EAS Advantage! This premixed protein shake is amazing and comes in four delish flavors.

Strawberry-Tastes like strawberry milk. Stick it in the freezer for a couple of minutes (even though they say not to!), and it tastes a tiny bit icy. Deliciousness.

Chocolate fudge-Chocolate milk with more than 4x the protein! Who can beat that?

Dark chocolate-Even better, darker chocolate. I have used this to make really thick protein hot chocolate in the cold weather. Fab!

Vanilla-This tastes like super duper sweet milk!

Café Caramel-The best flavor!!! It is like an absolutely delicious iced latte.

Sometimes I even add these instead of milk to certain recipes for an extra protein blast! I always feel hydrated and refreshed after drinking this. It quenches my sweet and thirst cravings all in one.

2. New snack obsession! Sensible Foods Roasted Edamame Crunch Dried Snacks. This reminds me so much of those snap pea crisps, but much crunchier! It also has a nice salty flavor and is great for that afternoon salt craving with nine grams of protein. Count it…nine! Obsession.

3. Soup: Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Soup. So it is the pumpkin time of year, and I am stocking up on this creamy, hearty soup. This soup has two servings, and it was so delicious I ate both in one night!

4. Sauce: Soyaki! They have a delicious one at Trader Joe’s and also a very similar one at Whole Foods that are both great. I love to use this sauce on veggie stir fry or even as salad dressing. It is a hint of soy, a hint of pineapple, a hint of ginger, and a bunch of yummy in my tummyness.

5. Favorite ice cream: So this is an interesting one. I am not a big ice cream fan, but I really like the mix ins in the ice cream. So you know how you can never get that delicious cookie taste from an oreo as is in cookies and cream ice cream? Well, the same is true with the chocolate and fudge bits in Sunnyside Farms Bear Foot Brownie ice cream. The ice cream, honestly, is tasteless. But, it has the HUGEST ribbons of chocolate and these delicious fudge brownie bits. It is literally like a treasure hunt digging through the tasteless ice cream to find the creamy chocolate and fudgy bits.

          (couldn't find a picture of my fave flavor, but this is what the carton looks like!)

6. Favorite yogurt: Fage. Nothing else is the real Greek yogurt. I will not stand for debate on this. This is the absolutely thickest and most tasty Greek yogurt of the bunch. I will not buy the big tubs of anything else. Even the 0% is thick enough to satisfy my yogurt craving. And, there is so much you can do with it from pancakes, to breakfast, and even putting it in dinner foods. I also love making dips for it. I add my delicious dip mix, give it a stir, and grab my carrots.

7. The Bulk Bins: I am obsessed with the bulk bins. Anywhere I go, I can’t stay away. Whether it is candy, granola, jelly bellies, or chocolates, the bulk bins always catch me hook, line, and sinker. Whether it is the Sweet Factory or the premium bins at Whole Foods or Sprouts, I can never refuse the bulk bins!

8. Pasta Sauce: No, all pasta sauces are not the same. And this is the reason I am willing to shell out $7 for the good stuff! I am a HUGE squash fan. Actually just for lunch today I had a mix of spaghetti and butternut squash so I am addicted to Dave’s Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce. This sauce is so thick and creamy you can eat it on it’s own. Yes—I have tried. It could almost be a squash soup on its own. When heat it, you can taste the creamy squash with a hint of sweet and a tad of savory. But, it has a slightly varied taste when eating it cold! How interesting! Dave’s also makes other flavors, and I am dying to try their mushroom pasta sauce. This ain’t a regular tomato sauce with mushrooms! This high quality brand makes the actual brunt of the sauce from mushrooms. I have started to also see Dave’s at a wider variety of stores like Costco and Nob Hill—even on sale! But, that mushroom sauce has yet to be found. Surprisingly, I also really like the Clasico Pasta Sauce. It is cheap with a variety of flavors. Their Florentine Spinach and Cheese is excellent with numerous pieces of actual spinach scattered throughout the sauce. The Mushroom and Ripe Olives is also a yummy choice. I like that Clasico adds actual pieces of whatever they claim is in the sauce. Trader Joe’s also has a very creamy three cheese sauce that is delish. The variety of cheeses infuses it with taste, and it is a bit thicker than the regular sauce. With all the choices on the shelf, it can be difficult to know what is mediocre and the sauces that add that little extra touch to take your meal from good to de-freakin-lish!

9. Sugar Cookies Tea—Special editioooon for the holidays. Must stock up. Alas, this tea does not really taste like a sugar cookie. It seems to have a coconutty macaroon-like flavor, but with a bit of sugar it is delish.
10. Protein bar: Obsessed with Quest! They have the best flavors and when you microwave them...oh heavenly goodness! And 20 grams of protein...WOWZA. The pb and j is EVEN BETTER than a pb and j sandwich! You can taste the rich pb and sweet jelly melting in your mouth. The PB Supreme. PB pie status! The apple pie has little pieces of dried apple. But, nothing can beat the sweet cinnamon roll!
 Zone Perfect's Cookie Dough is a close second! There is never a moment when I can pass up cookie dough, but with 10 grams of protein, there is no reason to pass it up! I have only been able to find the chocolate chip which has that very sweet taste and even a similar texture as cookie dough. But, if I could find the PB, I may be the happiest person in the world. Why, oh why, don't they sell it anywhere?!!!!
Have a lovely day! It is very chilly here, but I warmed up with some Arctic Zero + EAS hot chocolate! Tehehehhe.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Who Needs Starbucks? Peppermint Mocha...Arctic Zero Style!

There is nothing better on a chilly day than a cozy warm Starbucks drink in your tummy! But, I found a way to, not only, replicate this, but make it 1000X more heavenly! This recipe is, oh so, simple and absolutely delish!


¼ cup coffee

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

¼ cup Mint Chocolate Arctic Zero

1. Put the three ingredients in a cup. (Do not mix yet)

2. Microwave until the Arctic Zero bubbles to the top of the cup (Watch out because it will explode if it is in there for too long!)

3. Mix together and enjoy!

Oh my goodness. The bubbly Arctic Zero is like the thickest peppermint whipped cream. This drink is so devilishly delightful, but it is actually really healthy! This is the absolute best holiday drink!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin in My Tum

So on my shopping trip to Trader Joe’s, I decided I really wanted to roast a pumpkin. Yah—I know odd realization. But, I did it. I bought a cute little pumpkin and roasted that baby up! I used a bit of olive oil and a lot of cinnamon! I also de-seeded the pumpkin and roasted the seeds. They actually came out amazingly crunchy and tasty simply with a sprinkle of salt. They were far superior to store bought.

1 pumpkin
Tiny drizzle of olive oil
1. De-seed and stick the pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet with a sprinkle of salt
2. Cut the pumpkin into smaller chunks, and drizzle with olive oil and cinnamon.
3. Bake at 350 until soft.

But, wait, we’re not done yet! So for a tiny pumpkin, it was still too large for one or even two dinners! So, it was time to get creative. Store bought pumpkin puree…pshtt…I’ll just make my own! Simply take your blender and your pumpkin. You’ll be ready to go. I went ahead and blended the outside of the pumpkin which gave the puree a nice nutty flavor. I also added some maple syrup and an extra bit of sugar. Then I stuck it in the pan to warm and cream up a bit! It turned out fabulously! I just ate this plain. It was delish!!!!!


After you’ve completed the first recipe, blend that baby with some maple syrup and sugar. Cook in pan. Easy peasy delicious. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Most Satisfying Breakfast in the World (hint: It involves pumpkin!)

                                       The delish yogurt with a swirl of whip in the middle!

Trader Joe’s does it again! So for some reason I seem to have a sweet tooth in the morning. Yes, I do crave ice cream at like 6:30 AM when I wake up. This means that it is time to concoct. I had some leftover Trader Joe’s pumpkin yogurt sitting in my fridge this morning. It’s a pretty big carton at a good 8 oz. I am always in the mood for some sweet pumpkin. And then I saw it sitting on the top shelf of the fridge—my fave Fat Free Reddi Whip! I am obsessed with this stuff. I literally spray its pillowy, sweet goodness directly into my mouth. So my mind starting working Greek pumpkin froyo + Reddi whip=pumpkin pie. Oh and my geezers it basically was! This is legitimately the closest tasting thing to pumpkin pie I have had in my life. It reminds me more of pumpkin pie than actual pumpkin puree alone! The Greek yogurt is nice and thick simulating a very creamy, hearty pie inside and the whip adds a touch of sweetness almost simulating a taste of a buttery crust (as odd as that sounds). You could also add granola or cereal, and I am certain that would be an even closer approximation. Maybe something like gold grahams would simulate a crust? Actually…pumpkin pie in a graham cracker crust isn’t typical, but should be noted for a future baking project because it would certainly be good!


1 carton TJ’s Pumpkin Greek Yogurt

1 bottle Fat Free Reddi Whip

1 handful granola or cereal (if desired)

Pictures of this crazy deliciousness below.


I actually feel like I had dessert for breakfast…crazy upside down days! I was tempted to stick some maple syrup in it, but my bottle was empty to the last drop.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

What Is a Concoction?

Well, it’s basically combining a bunch of random stuff that tastes good together to make something that tastes unhumanly sinful. I would refer to myself as a concoction artist. While I do like finding recipes online, it is very frequently that I actually end up following these recipes either because I don’t have all the ingredients in my kitchen or because I just don’t feel like it. Concocting is much more evil fun! Mwahahha. Not really evil.

Concoction #1
 Rasberry goop. This was my first attempt at a protein omelet, but I made this deliciousness instead. I ended up using about a fourth cup of egg whites, some crushed up fresh rasberries,  a teensy tiny bit of protein powder, and the a large tablespoon of greek yogurt. “Oh..I’m sure this will turn out as a protein pancake” I thought. Thus, it didn’t. It turned into something so much better! This actually did not taste like am omelet. The rasberries and greek yogurt sweetened it so much that is became very dessert-like! When I first started cooking it in the pan and I thought it was omelet flipping time, the darn thing would not stay together. So, I gave in and just started scrambling. I ended up with this thick raspberry dessert concoction. It was probably the greek yogurt? It actually does not taste eggy at all, but rather somewhat of a rich and filling taste. I give this concoction an A+. I also decided to enjoy it with some more greek yogurt on top! Heavenly. (Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of this baby because I was just so excited to eat, but next time I make it, I will surely update with pictures.)

Concoction #2

                                                              Concoction Ingredients!

Sometimes, concoctions just involve mixing some good stuff together and hoping it tastes even better. This was my attempt when I decided to mix nuked chocolate peanut Arctic Zero, Reese’s puffs cereal, and PB2. If you have never tried Reese’s Puffs cereal, you are missing out. These little peanut buttery balls of goodness are coated in this heavenly, thin layer of pb. Yum. This recipe was a success. By itself, nuked Arctic Zero tastes like the thickest hot chocolate in the world. But, add a little PB2 and you’re getting to dreamland level. Add my favorite cereal, Reese’s Puffs, and you’ve got yourself a winner! Just a warning, if you leave the Reese’s in the concoction too long, they start to get a little soggy L. So, eat it quick!
More concoction, and I promise pictures, to come! 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

SUPER Protein Pancake--40+ grams!

Shouts of glee! I finally succeeded in making my first protein pancake. But, when I commit, I go overboard. So not only did I make a regular protein pancake, I made a SUPER protein pancake.
                    Look at this beauty in the pan! So nice and thick--almost perfectly browned.

I decided to add my RTD 51 chocolate peanut  butter protein shake, which failed in taste on its own due to the artificial flavor, to add some peanut buttery deliciousness to my pancake! And, it worked fabulously creating a thick and golden brown protein pancake. Not only did I add this extra, but I also created maple protein frosting! Here is how to make this super special protein pancake!


Choc PB Protein Pancake

1 Scoop Protein Powder (I used a packet of Tara’s Whey)

Approx. ¼ cup egg whites

About ½ cup of choc peanut butter protein shake (or really any flavor). I used this instead of milk or flavoring. This is in liquid form.

A pinch of baking powder

Some cinnamon if desired

I whisk it all together and pop it in the pan on the stove. Then, when it starts to bubble and the other bottom side is brown, flip it. Cook through and then it’s time for your frosting

Maple Protein Frosting

½ cup maple syrup (or as much as desired)

½ packet protein powder
                                                              It was super duper sweet!

Mix these two really well. Pop the mixture in the microwave and let it go until it begins to bubble or is nice and hot. Pour it on your pancake.

This was absolutely delicious. These flavors created such a perfect compliment, and I was shocked at how hearty my pancake was. This meal has about a grand total of almost 40 grams of protein. WOWZA! It came out nice and crispy also. I will be having yet another for dinner tonight—perfect to satisfy the sweet tooth! Maybe I’ll add some strawberries next time and extra vanilla liquid protein shake. Hmmm…Or even thicken it with Greek Yogurt? Or....add the maple to the actual pancake. The possibilities are endless!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Nuts for nuts—well malt balls more specifically

So after seeing pumpkin spiced malt balls at my local Sprouts, I decided to do some other research to see what other flavors are available. As a bin addict, I always through in a couple of delicious malt balls for good measure. There is nothing like biting into one of these treats with its smooth, usually chocolately outside, and sweet crunchy malt inside.

                                              Can't forget the most well known brand!

Between my various supermarkets and candy stores, I have seen a pretty extensive malt ball flavor list.

1. Regular malt balls (chocolate outside and malty goodness inside)—These are the classic.

2. Peanut butter chocolate malt balls (chocolate outside with a layer of peanut butter and then malty inside)—These are usually ginormous due to the double layered goodness!

3. Peanut butter malt balls (pb outside and chocolate inside)—Just plain ahmmmazing.

4. Mint malt balls (these have a mint cookie like outside and malted inside…almost like mint chocolate chip ice cream)

5. Dark chocolate malt balls---Self explanatory.

6. White chocolate malt balls---Just sooooo good when you’re in white chocolate mood!

7. Ultimate malted milk balls—This is basically like a marbled one coated with white, dark, and milk chocolate. The grand supreme king of malt balls!

8. Cookies and cream malt balls-This reminds me so much of a cookie dough malt or cookie dough ice cream. You can distinctly taste the white chocolate and cookie like pieces in it. This may even beat out my love for pb malt balls!

9. Espresso malt balls-Coffee and malt, what can be better than that?

10. Blueberry malt balls-This taste like the outside layer on those colored chocolate covered blueberries, but, of course, with a malted inside. For when you’re feeling fruity! I said fruity, not necessarily healthy.

11. Speckled robin eggs-These are so good! The outside is almost crunchy instead of being a soft, creamy layer.

Now this is where my knowledge stops and research starts. I happened upon this great website with some of the best looking malt ball flavors. I typed in malt balls and was absolutely shocked at all the options: AND

Peppermint—Not a big peppermint fan, but this is an interesting flavor.

ICE CREAM SUNDAE MALT BALLS-Must find, must find!

Yogurt malted milk balls-This sounds very delicious as well. I think the yogurt covering and malt would create a very melty, creamy, and complimentary flavor.

Maple malted milk balls-I love maple! This sounds heavenly. It looks like it still has a chocolate outside coating though so I’m not sure how the maple flavor plays in?

Cinnamon malt balls-Like peppermint, not a big cinnamon fan. Although the flavors could be interesting contrasts with the malt inside and spicier outside?

Coconut malt balls-I can’t even imagine.

Egg nog-Wow.

Key lime-Tangy and tart with the malted inside…interesting!


Hmmm. All this malt ballin got me thinking. If I bought the malted inside, could I really make my own by dipping them in anything? Butterscotch malt balls coming up?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Eggplant--The Underloved Vegetable

First of all Happy Halloween. This holiday really only applies to children under the age of 15 who get to have all the fun collecting candy. But, if you’re dressing up, kudos to you. I’m not. Instead I’m suffering through a work commute with both the Giants parade and Halloween…yay. Can you feel my enthusiasm….How ironic is it that the Giants’s color is orange? So, since it’s Halloween, logically, I’ll be writing about eggplant.

                                                              Hello Happy Eggplant!

For all you eggplant haters out there, I was long ago quite like you. I just thought eggplant was plain weird. But, now I would list it as one of my top three favorite veggies! The list of ways to cook it is endless so you will never be bored!

There is also not just one type of eggplant. There are the Italian eggplants, like the type to make your typical eggplant parm. There are Indian eggplants, Japanese eggplants, and Thai eggplants. Who knew every country had its own type of eggplant? But, my personal favorite is the Chinese eggplant! I really like my eggplant soft, even mushy, and bursting with saucy flavor. This is exactly how they make it at my favorite restaurants. Whether stir fried or steamed, there is so much you can do with an eggplant. For my busy day, I just cut up a Chinese eggplant and stuck it in a pan of warm water this morning. I drained the water and added a bit of sauce and I was ready to go with snack for the day! I got a new sauce to use: Annie Chung’s Shitake Soy Ginger. Don’t be afraid of the mush of eggplant. It really is the best part, and eggplant is so filling as well.

If you are really as interested in the various types of eggplant as I am (which you’re probably not but just in case), refer to the following page:

I actually don’t even think this is every type because I have seen some tiny eggplants at a specialty market that aren’t listed on this page!

My love for eggplant was actually inspired by a Whole Foods dish. It consisted of eggplant and mushrooms in a dark sweet and salty sauce. If you are ever lucky enough to happen upon this dish at the hot food bar, try it! My local Whole Foods (one of the four I go to), carried it for a couple of weeks, but it disappeared after that.

On a side note more relative to Halloween, I must try the pumpkin spice covered malt balls I found at Sprouts! Oh my goodness! Who knew pumpkin products went this far in their spectrum?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So That's What a Fig Tastes Like

After 19 years of my life, I finally tried a fig. As a fruit fanatic, I have tried a pretty wide variety of fruits. I am always looking for more tropical fruits whenever I travel. That is how I discovered on of my favorite fruits, the cherimoya. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing out. It is almost like a mix of a pineapple, banana, and mango with almost a pudding consistency. A friend said it tasted like “one of those pineapple gummy bears.”
                   I could really use a Cherimoya right now, but they have such a short season!

But, back to figs. Another new realization after 19 years is that we have a fig tree in our backyard. Go figure. I went to pick up some produce from someone’s house a couple weeks ago (long story), and I was lucky enough for them to offer me a backyard tasting tour. Now, a usual backyard tasting would consist of a couple oranges—whoop de doo. But, this backyard garden was the king of them all! The entire backyard was absolutely covered in tomato vines and miscellaneous fruit. I was enjoying the tomato tasting, and they asked if I wanted a fig. I had previously never really thought of trying figs, but they did their job convincing me of their deliciousness. Hesitantly, I bit it…and holy mackerel! This was soooo sweet. I legitimately bought figs during my next grocery store trip. But, they were not even half as sweet or rich as fresh off the tree.
                                                      Just a few of the many tomato plants....

When I learned we had a fig tree, I was super excited. However, it is a tough battle with the squirrels who are winning. Squirrels-100000 Me-1. I have eaten one good fig off our tree. If you pick them even one day too early, they are hardly sweet nor soft enough. I keep waiting just one more day for them to ripen. But, I will return the following morning to find no ripe figs. Zilcho, nunca, nada. I can’t even find any purple ones. Those fig stealing squirrels. Moral of the story, I am now sad because we have those sweet, delicious figs fresh off the tree, but the first choice always goes to the pesky squirrels (that I used to think were cute).


           ME                        VS.           

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Treasure Hunt--For Food

So, after reading a couple of other great fitness/health/food blogs, I compiled what I am bursting to try! I always end up going to multiple grocery stores on these searches. Usually one store will end up having a couple of the flavors, but not the one I am most excited about!

1. I am absolutely obsessed with Zone Perfect Cookie Dough. I accidently stumbled upon this fantastical deliciousness at my local Nob Hill. It is basically cookie dough with 10 grams of protein. Who can refuse? Well, I was doing a bit of internet browsing and, unfortunately, I found out they have a peanut butter cookie dough flavor. I say “unfortunately” because I am certain I will never be able to find it, and the flavor will now be in my dreams. The chocolate chip is so good though and tastes exactly like cookie dough.

2. About Time Protein Powder—Birthday Cake Flavor. O m gee. I have heard so many good things about this product, but they don’t sell in a store remotely in my area. This means it’s ordering online time! They have some other interesting flavors as well that I must try. But, Birthday Cake is first on the list!

3. I’ve been making protein pumpkin omelets and been meaning to try to make some protein frosting. This is not really an actual product more as a reminder to myself to go buy some more protein powder to mix with maple syrup. This should be heavenly!

4. Better Whey of Life—Whey protein yogurt? Hmmm…should be an interesting try. Oddly enough, some Greek Yogurt brands seems to have more protein than this, but I really still want to try it!

I did find one product that I already tried! RTD 51 Peanut Butter Cup protein shake. This was a pre mixed shake and as soon as I saw the phrase “peanut butter cup,” I was hooked. I got this shake at the Vitamin Shoppe for count it $4! Holy mackerel. If I actually like these, I need find another place to buy them. Well, I tried the shake yesterday. It is very sweet. You can definitely taste peanut butter in it, and I do have the slight recollection of eating a peanut butter cup. My taste buds did notice a strong artificial flavor which was slightly disappointing. I know they had a cookies and cream flavor for this brand, but the artificial flavor is enough that I’m going to try another brand.
                                                           Look at this huge sucker!

Well, off to go drive 45-50 miles. Talleyhoe!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Arctic Zero--The Myth No Longer

Everyone who knows me surely is aware of exactly how obsessed I am with trying the newest food products. I jumped on the Arctic Zero bandwagon long ago, but many of the flavors seemed to be elusive.

Well, I can finally share with you that I have tried every single flavor! After combing all the grocery stores in my area, I can truly say that I am an Arctic Zero expert. What is Arctic Zero, you ask? It is a whey protein ice cream. Cue “ewww” noises. No, it’s really yummy! Now, I will first take you through the art of enjoying Arctic Zero.

Let’s start with my favorite flavors and the best ways to enjoy them:

Vanilla Maple: This flavor has an absolutely delicious vanilla flavor with the slightest hint of maple. It is honestly good as it is. But, give it a couple minutes to reach a soft and creamy consistency because it can be a bit hard out of the freezer. Now, a creative way I like to enjoy this flavor (and a couple of others) is by nuking it in the microwave. When I say nuke, I mean nuke. You put this in the microwave until it bubbles up. It tastes almost exactly like marshmallow fluff. So delicious. But, be careful that the container has enough space because it will REALLY bubble. I have had a few Arctic Zero explosions in my microwave. I also made a delicious strawberry smoothie with this flavor by adding fresh strawberries. It actually tasted pretty thick and sweet.

Chocolate Peanut: The same as above. Except, when you nuke it, it tastes like the thickest, creamiest, most indulgent hot chocolate you have ever tasted. Even better, it is much more nutritious! The chocolate peanut has a very slight hint of peanut as well. Don’t be expecting full on peanut butter because you won’t get it.

Coffee: This reminds me EXACTLY of a Freddo from Peet’s Coffee. To a T! I have yet to explore with this flavor, but I feel like it could create some really yummy concoctions

Chocolate Mint: This is actually decently minty. It creates a very interesting hot chocolate.

And finally….pumpkin! I looked everywhere for this, and my local Sprouts finally special ordered it JUST for me. They actually said they were going to put it on shelves, but not until after early November. I thought this was really odd considering pumpkin is more for Halloween than Thanksgiving. But, whatever floats their boat. This has such a strong pumpkin taste!!!! Nuke this and it tastes like pumpkin whipped cream. Oh m gee…put it on top of your pumpkin pie and life will never be the same. It also has somewhat of a homey cinnamon flavor to it. I also tried nuking it together with Arctic Zero chocolate, but it totally overpowered the chocolate flavor (lol). So, as shown, pumpkin apparently takes the win like always!

                                          Proof--Look at it sitting there all perfectly in the freezer.

Anyway, I was so happy to get my hands on any flavor. Some supermarkets have finally started to carry more flavors which makes me so happy. I also saw an Arctic Zero sale!!! YAY so I stocked up!

The Art of the Pumpkin Omelet

Tis the season. The pumpkin season that is! Every time I visit the grocery store, I see a plethora of pumpkin products. This is especially true at one of my favorite grocery stores—Trader Joes. I can’t even list their pumpkin assortment which consists of two kinds of pumpkin tea, pumpkin soufflé, pumpkin soup, pumpkin oatmeal, and of course the classic pumpkin pie. I’m sure I’m even missing a couple in this list.

With all this pumpkin, I was ,of course, inspired to try some pumpkin recipes. This is how the pumpkin omelet was born.

It was a long and boring afternoon, and I was in a pumpkin mood. But, oh no, the pumpkin pie was all gone! Fortunately, I still had some pumpkin in a can left. Now the question was what to make? I have recently become obsessed with protein powders and eggs whites…so what do I do but decide to combine all my favorite things!


This recipe is very subjective based on the consistency you like! If you want your omelete more pumpkiny (yes this should be a word), then add more of the pumpkin puree. If you want more of an omelet consistency, then use more egg whites. If you want more of a soufflé, then add a bit more baking powder.

½ cup egg whites

½ cup pumpkin puree

1 scoop protein powder

1 pinch baking powder

1 HEAPING tablespoon cinnamon (I do love my cinnamon!)

Sugar (based on desired sweetness)

Maple syrup (this adds a nice homey/holiday flavor! Pumpkin maple nom nom nom)

Whisk, whisk, whisk.

Now, you have more some choices to make in terms of cooking.

1. You can put this all in your non-stick pan and wait until it starts to bubble and then flip.

2. You can put it in a very large non-stick pan so it is thinner.

3. You can scramble it in the pan!

4. You can put this in the blender or use the electric mixer to make it more soufflé like and then pop it in a cup in the oven.

While the taste may be the same, the consistency will vary slightly based on mixing and cooking mechanism. You can also eat it plain or top with greek yogurt or even pumpkin greek yogurt (yes, such a thing does exist…one of the forgotten items at Trader Joe’s).