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WIWEFW: What I Will Eat Finals Week

Happy tuesday punkins!

It’s the beginning of a new week…and finals for me! Bleh.

During finals week, I need lots of brain food to keep me alert and sharp for the endless hours of studying.

I will be starting off my days with something like…

2 scrambled eggs with one morningstar sausage pattie, yellow bell pepper, crazy feta, spinach and an apple on the side!

1/4 c oat bran, 1/4 c oats, 1 scoop sunwarrior vanilla protein powder, cinnamon & water microwaved for 3 min. topped with chopped apple, walnuts & maple syrup.

a green smoothie. love my carlos cup from urban!

Snacks to quietly munch on in the lib…

the only flavor of zing bar i've tried! chocolate and coconut is a winning combo. definitely recommend!

one banana halved and slathered in ab, and topped with either coconut & choco chips or hemp seeds and goji berries! maybe too messy for the lib!

up close because they're soo pwetty.

luna chocolate dipped coconut

look at those chocolatey drizzles. my favorite luna bar flavor yet!

apple sprinkled in cinnamon which happens to be awkwardly next to my senior pictures...supes cheesy!

Lunch & dinner…

spinach salad with chicken, cukes, feta, red onion, cherry tomatoes, mustard, olive oil & balsamic!

rosemary chicken and steamed broccoli with lemon

spaghetti squash with meatless grounds, tomato sauce & assorted veggies

brinner! scrambled veggies & eggs and toast with chia seed jam

curried vegetables and tofu!

And knowing me, finishing with something sweet!

this will do.

Tonight as a little good luck token for finals I whipped up these babays.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

Ingredients:

3/4 c brown sugar

1/4 canola oil

3 egg whites

1 T vanilla extract

1 c whole wheat flour

1/3 c oats

2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

~ 1 c chopped mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8 by 8 dish with cooking spray. Mix the sugar and oil in a large bowl with a wire whisk. Add the egg whites and vanilla extract and whisk again.

Add the flour, oats, baking power, and salt. Stir until just combined.

stir stir stir!

Chop up the mini Reese’s. I chopped them in quarters first, then got lazy and just halved them!

chop chop chop!

Add the Reese’s and fold.

reese's goin swimmin! (i think i used a lot more than a cup)

With a rubber spatuala scoop the mixture into the baking dish.

top with chocolate chips if desired!

Bake 25-30 minutes, until the dough is firm in the center and a toothpick/fork comes out clean when inserted.

come to mama!

Enjoy :)!

P.S. These will go fast, so you may want to make another pan for yourself…just kidding..sorta.

Have a great week!!!

xoxo

Kara

fall favorites/christmas wish list!

Hi lovebugs!

How ya doin?

I’m doing great!

I’ve decided, that if I could have one wish come true right now it would be… to be able to hibernate in my bed for the rest of the month. Yep, I choose that over flying, reading people’s minds, being able to eat anything you want without gaining weight…..

My bed is just sooo comfy why wouldn’t I want to spend more time in it?!

Currently, I am blogging in bed, because it would be detrimental to my school career to hibernate in bed for the rest of the month. Finals helllooooo!

my view right now. pardon the messy desk, my priorities in college are obviously not cleaning my room...

Moving on to my favorites this fall (..winter?) and a few of the things on my christmas wish list!

I have been wearing MAC Turquatic since high school and it’s definitely my all time favorite perfume. The MAC website says it’s their “classic sea-inspired fragrance, with notes of Anemone, Lotus, Orris & Corsican Blue Cedar.” I’ve gotten so many compliments on it, making it A WINNER!

now available in a bigger size. you are going to be mine.

Another fall favorite or reason why I love fall is pumpkin!!

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!

Recipe found here.

pumpkin for breakfast? yes please!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 c water

1/2 c almond milk (or whatever milk you have)

1/3 c oats

1/4 c pumpkin puree

1/2 of a chopped up banana

3-4 drops liquid stevia, or more depending on how sweet you like it (also can use maple syrup, honey, etc)

generous shakes of pumpkin pie spice

toppings: dried cranberries, walnuts, pecans, chocolate chips….whatever your little heart desires!

Directions:

Mix water, almond milk, oats and chopped banana in a pot on the stove at about medium to high heat. Stirring frequently and watching for the banana to get soft and fluffy-looking. Once it is, mash banana chunks with the stirring spoon, and add in the pumpkin puree, stevia and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well. Scoop into serving bowl and sprinkle on the toppings! I chose dried cranberries and walnuts for my oatmeal.

Now that the weather is cooling down, it’s time to show off the sweaters! My closet is lacking in that department, I usually pull on a sweatshirt and am good to go…not this year!!

I love Free People. Too bad it’s so expensive. A girl can dream though!

free people's open stitches pullover sweater

free people's fairisle vneck pullover sweater

I’ve been eyeing these 70’s inspired blue pumps for a while now. Crossing my fingers they’ll go on sale!

steve madden dynemite pumps

Love this cowboy-esque style boots!

steve madden ruckuss boots

I’ve fallen back into an old obsession…a crumbled veggie burger in a monsterous salad. Sooo good! Especially with fruit in the salad too (grapes, strawberries or apples are my fave!).

veggie burger crumbled in salads = yUmmMMiii

Some new purchases that I hope turn out to be favorites:

REN jojoba microbead invigorating facial polish from Sephora. I needed an exfoliator that wouldn't dry out my skin so the lady at Sephora told me this is her favorite (plus it's has no bad things like petrochemicals or parabens!). So far I love it!

pssssst! dry shampoo from urban outfitters (can't find it online!). i have been using baby powder as a cheap way of reviving greasy hair but i hate how my hair would smell like baby powder! i've heard lots of great things about this one and it was cheap! $8!

Last but not least…

the blender god.

(source.)

A Vitamix!!! I’ve been wanting one of these forever..and a regular blender just can’t keep up with all the amazing things a Vitamix does! Hummus, ice cream, nut butter?!! PLEASEEE MOM AND DAD!!!!!

And that wraps up my fall favorites slash christmas list!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

xoxxooxo

Kara

WIAW + goin swimmin!

Hello lovelies!

We’re already halfway through the week, can you believe it?!

I don’t have class until 2 on Wednesdays, so I appreciated the 12 hours of sleep that awaited me! (I went to bed at 1 am…which is actually kinda early compared to how late I’ve been going to sleep lately. I tend to turn into a night owl when I’m off at college.) I got up at 1 pm, and in my defense, I needed it! I felt well rested and ready for the day. And I didn’t feel like I could fall asleep in any of my classes. Success.

For breakfast?….lunch…okay, BRUNCH I had:

plain greek yogurt with cinnamon, chopped up organic fuji apple (omg love), and a crumbled up flavor and fiber bar! peach detox tea on the side because it's simply delicious, anddd i feel like my body could use a detox from this weekend.

cinnamon raisin flava! i used to get these all the time in high school and i loved them, so when i saw them at nugget it was an instinctive purchase!

nutrition facts! and did you know that you would have to eat 3 kashi tlc chewy granola bars to equal how much fiber is in this baby?! plus it's pretty low in calorie...only 130! eating 3 kashi bars would be 3 times 140...i don't feel like doing the math..but that's A LOT! the only downfall to these are that they're more pricey than kashi.

daily inspiration from my yogi tea! "our thoughts are forming the world." wow that's deep.

Then I went to class from 2-4, planned on working out, but I think I tweaked my back running the other day so I decided to go swim laps in our apartment complex’s pool! Swimming is the best exercise for those who have injuries…and it burns up calories in no time!

But first, I had a bite to eat.

stir fried veggies & quinoa in sesame oil and braggs liquid aminos.

Then it was swimmin time! I haven’t swam in soooo long, I’m ashamed. I’ve been on a swim team ever since I was 8, and literally lived in the water. It felt so good to get back into it! My wonderful and hilarious friend, Kirsten, joined me. We had a bit of a problem of chatting too much in between sets…but we’ll work on that ;).

some synchronize swimming caught on camera. lovesya creeper amy!

Moving on…

When I came home from class earlier, I tenderized some chicken (put it in a ziploc and hit it with the bottom of a frying pan..what poor college students do when they can’t afford a meat tenderizer), seasoned it with s&p, and marinated it for about 3 hours.

before mixing it all together.

Basil & Parmesan Marinade

inspired by How Sweet It Is

 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed

1/4 c olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1 T dried basil

1 t dried mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T parmesan cheese (I used TJ’s shaved parmesan but any kind will work)

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together in a large ziploc bag and refrigerate for 2-24 hours. Once you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 and set a skillet coated in olive oil to medium heat and cook chicken for 3 minutes on each side. The chicken should not be completely cooked all the way through. Place chicken in an oven safe dish and bake for about 10 minutes, or until it is no longer pink on the inside.

half a chicken breast (holyyyy yumm) and some sauteed broccoli - with earth balance and s&p!

I later had an unpictured banana with almond butter as a study snack and now I’m sippin on some Good Earth tea! What a day of delicious and homemade eats!

Kisses,

Kara

 

 

WIAW!

Hello dollfacess.

Lately I’ve been having an overwhelming craving for fall-ish foods. You know what I mean. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin smoothies (sadly, I haven’t made/ate any of these besides the pumpkin spice latte which doesn’t count since it was made by a barista at Starbucks..) and apple pie! Totally ruined the pumpkin theme I know. P.S. a little fun fact for y’all: I actually don’t like pumpkin pie very much. Yes, I am a crazy person, but I do looove anything else that is pumpkin. It’s all about apple pie for this girl.

So this morning I decided to listen to my growling tummy and make something fall-ish! And healthy-ish!

Healthified Apple Crisp

{high in fiber, healthy fats & protein!}

serves 2

Ingredients:

1/3 c oats

~1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Sunwarrior)

2 TBS sugar (I used NuNaturals More Fiber Baking Blend)

Cinnamon

1/4 c coconut (optional)

1 apple, thinly sliced

2 TBS cold butter (I used Earth Balance)

1 TBS coconut oil

2 TBS nut butter (optional – I used pecan butter from the samples I received from Artisana!!)

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats, protein powder, and sugar together in a small bowl. Add a couple generous shakes of cinnamon.

oat mixture minus the coconut

i used this! IT'S AWESOME! in 3/4 of a TBS there is 3 g of fiber!!

Add the butter, oil and nut butter to the dry ingredients. It should be crumbly.

before mixing..

Lay the apple slices in a small glass dish. Sprinkle on some more cinnamon! Then pour the oat mixture over the apples so that they are evenly covered.

i put half of the pecan butter on the apples, but i couldn't tell the difference, so to make it easier, i'd just mix it in with the dry ingredients! unless you wanna be a rebel.

yummerz

time for the oven!

Bake in the oven for…..I ACTUALLY DIDN’T KEEP TRACK OF THIS. I’M SO VERY SORRY…but I think it was around 15-20 minutes, just until the top looks golden brown and when you poke the apples they feel soft!

the finished product! dun dun dunnnn....hoping it's good!

OH IT WAS.

P.S. I had the plate above times two. Meaning I ate this entire thing. Ahem. Moving on….

lunch: egg white scramble with mushrooms, kale & salsaaa

For dinner, the roomies and I had a little potluck.

clockwise from the left: salmon, thai crunch salad (which i made), shirazi salad, & dressing for thai crunch salad

annnddd amy's homemade soup 😉 so fall-ish.

elana's salmon was made in the oven set at 350 for 22 minutes. the marinade was delishhh: tj's soyaki, garlic powder, s&p!

thai crunch salad. recipe from the peas and thank you cookbook.

our beaaauutiful table setting. do you spy a flamingo?! i do...

date night with SAKE (shauna, amy, kara, elana)!

Soooooo satisfied.

Hope you had a lovely Wednesday!

Kara

caramelized pecan banana bread

The other day I noticed my bananas were getting a tad bit old and squishy….

Then I thought…

I SHOULD MAKE BANANA BREAD!

But plain banana bread is boring…

Hmmmm.

I LOVE CARAMELIZED NUTS!

Genius.

I DECIDED TO MIX THE TWO TOGETHER.

Oh gollyyyy.

[Sorry for the all caps, it was needed that I yell at you.]

So without any further ado, I give you….

Caramelized Pecan Banana Bread

For the caramelized pecans:

1 TBS butter (I used Earth Balance)

2 TBS sugar

1 cup pecan halves

2 TBS ground cinnamon

 

For the bread:

1 c whole-wheat flour

1 c unbleached flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4 large, overripe bananas

2 egg whites

3/4 c sugar

1/4 c coconut or almond milk (you could also use regular or fat-free milk, if you’re using fat-free add a little bit of lemon juice so the milk thickens)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

 

Directions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350. Spray a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. For the caramelized pecans: Melt the butter over medium heat, slowly stirring in the sugar and cinnamon, and finally the pecans. Mix until evenly coated and the pecans look shiny.

mmm hey derr

up-close and personal

3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas until smooth. Add the egg whites, sugar, milk, vanilla and cinnamon and stir to mix well. Pour the banana mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and fold together until blended.

the dry ingredients

mashed up naner

add the wet ingredients!

notice the well?!

4. Fold the caramelized pecans into the batter.

all mixed up!

5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Lick the spoon.

i'm ready freddy!

6. Bake until a toothpick in the center of the bread comes out clean ~55-60 minutes. Cool for ten minutes or put in the fridge (I personally like it cold with peanut butter slathered on top). Enjoy!

ohhhhh baybayy get in mah belly

I ate it so fast, I never got a pretty picture of a slice with peanut butter on it :(. But I will make it again! And this time I want to try making it with a crumbly cinnamon topping! Mmmm sounds to die for right?!

Let me know if you try this! Or if you have any favorite banana bread mix-ins or recipes!

xoxo

Kara

freaky {food} friday: buckwheat

Hey dolls!

Again, I apologize for sucking at blogging lately, but I’ve been a busy bee catching up with friends and organizing my war-zone of a room.

But today’s freaky food is buckwheat!

Ever heard of it?! Well now you will have! Less goooooo.

What is buckwheat?

unroasted buckwheat!

Buckwheat is a nutritious alternative to rice and grains.

While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed making it a suitable substitute for people who are allergic to wheat. It can be ground into flour (either light or dark variety…dark is more nutritious) and is often found in gluten-free flours.

Buckwheat is of similar size to wheat kernels, and has a unique three-sided shape. It is sold either unroasted or roasted. Roasted is called “kasha,” from which a traditional European dish is made. Its color ranges from tannish-pink to brown.

What does it taste like?

Unroasted buckwheat has a very subtle taste similar to oats. When soaked it’s chewy and absorbs the other flavors in the dish. Roasted buckwheat has a more earthy, nutty flavor.

Why should you eat buckwheat?

  • contains 8 essential amino acids
  • rich in flavonoids and plant lignans which are phytonutrients that protect against breast and other hormone-dependent cancers, and heart disease
  • high in magnesium which is needed for a healthy cardiovascular system
  • controls blood sugar better, lowers the risk of diabetes & helps manage diabetes, and scored highest on their ability to satisfy hunger
  • eating foods high in insoluble fiber, like buckwheat, can help prevent gallstones
  • good for weight loss because it keeps you fuller longer

What are its nutrition facts?

In one cup of cooked buckwheat:

  • almost 35% of your daily value of manganese
  • about 22% DV of magnesium
  • almost 20% DV of your dietary fiber for the day
  • 154 calories

Where can I find buckwheat?

I buy my buckwheat in the bulk food section of Whole Foods, but it can be found at most health food stores or online!

How do I eat it?

It can be used as an alternative for rice, oats and most grains. Often found as buckwheat pancakes or pizza. Also the main ingredient in Japanese soba noodles. Buckwheat can be cooked and made into porridge.

Recipes!

Tried this and loved it! Raw Buckwheat Porridge.

Mmmm want to try this! Buckwheat Tabbouleh.

Buckwheat granola? I must make this!

My overall score:

At first, I wasn’t sold on buckwheat. The chewy texture definitely takes some getting used to, but now I absolutely love it! If you’re hesitant on trying buckwheat, I would suggest making buckwheat pancakes (which are made with buckwheat flour) because they will change your life! Buckwheat scores an A+.

A Blondie Bakes and Bikes Recipe!

Buckwheat Breakfast Yogurt Bowl

serves 1

what you'll need

Ingredients:

1/4 c plain greek yogurt

half a smashed banana (or any other type of sweetener)

2 T buckwheat

1 T lemon juice

1 T flax oil (or you could use coconut oil or not put any at all)

cinnamon

toppings! (I used blueberries, coconut and pecans this time)

isn't that such an adorable bowl?! courtesy of my amazing roomie shauna!

Directions:

Mix yogurt and buckwheat together and let sit for up to 10 minutes. Then add all other ingredients, sprinkle on desired toppings (i.e. fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, peanut butter, etc.) and eat!!!!

time for it's close up! mmmm

Try this now! I promise you won’t regret it 😉

I’m about to whip up a fabulous first dinner with the roomies and boyfriend! Wooo mmm delish!

xoxoxo

Kara

wiaw and trendy nails

Heyyy babes! How are ya on this fine hump day?

In case you forgot, today is…

what

i

ate

wednesday!!!

But first…I have to show off my newly painted nails. Quite the upgrade from yesterday’s multi-colored-testing-out-different-nail-polishes look!

dontcha agree?

Last night, I hung out with my besties Sheeva and Hannah. We painted nails and chatted while watching a few of our favorite movies (The Proposal and Wedding Crashers anyone?!). Also, if you haven’t done so CHECK OUT SHEEVA’S BLOG! Kaythanks.

I’m sporting a different (and sparkly) nail polish on my ring finger if ya couldn’t tell. I think it was a trend last year…but whatevs.

as seen on the newest mommy-to-be!

and vanessa hudgens!

i'm so trendyyy.

Okay..well onto other news.

What I ate today!

At Sheeva’s this morning we made oatmeal! I didn’t get a pic but this is pretty much what it looks like and how it was made:

1/3 cup oats

add 1/2 a chopped up (or mashed) banana, cinnamon & nutmeg, or whatever other spices you like!

add ~1/3 c water or milk (or both...I usually put in half water half vanilla almond milk)

microwave for a minute and the banana will get all smooshy! smoosh smoosh it up some more 😉

microwave for another minute and it should look like this! if you like your oatmeal more liquidy, either dont microwave for as long or add more water/milk

Sorry, these pictures are very fugly! But I added the other 1/2 of banana and a little bit of TJ’s vanilla almond granola on top! It’s not super sweet like most prepackaged oatmeal you would buy at the store, so if you like that, this may take a little getting used to. Personally I think the banana makes it just sweet enough (espec if it’s a ripe one!) but you can definitely add maple syrup, brown sugar, stevia, whatever your heart desires! To step up the fun factor even more, you could choose from a variety of other toppings such as: fresh fruit, chia seeds, nuts, peanut butter, or coconut to put on top! Yummm. Check out Kath’s Tribute to Oatmeal for inspiration!

almost too pretty to eat! (not my picture obviously)

[insert workout here]

Lunchtime rolled around and I was feeling like having everythanggg…so I did just that!

clockwise: cukes & carrots with homemade spicy hummus (recipe below!), red cabbage with leftover grilled tilapia & salsa, flax cracker (review below) & cheese, apple with pb!

and a handful of these awesome rice chips! half eaten one on the table...nice

Spicy Sun-dried Tomato Hummus 

{fat free & gluten-free}

Ingredients:

1 can garbanzo beans

1/3 c sundried tomatoes (not in oil)

1/4 of a lemon (skin and all!)

juice of the other 1/4 lemon

2-3 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp cumin

1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you want it!)

1/4 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Ground black pepper

all ya need!

Directions:

Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

mixin it all up! (i added more garlic later if you're wondering why there is only one clove!)

garnish with some cilantro and it's ready for dippin!

I also tried somethin new with my lunch today! Flackers! Say whaaaaa?!

flax + crackers = flackers! duhh...

with a hint of rosemary! serious crunch and supa addicting. buy them at WF's!

Love these and definitely getting them again!

[insert insane amount of packing, errand-running, lying on the couch and eating watermelon here]

juicyyy

Dinna time!

Grilled Chicken Greek Salad

{vegetarian option too!}

adapted from Sunset magazine

serves 4

Ingredients:

3 tbsp lemon juice, divided

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 tbsp minced garlic, divided

1 tsp each salt and pepper, divided

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin, divided

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (OR if vegetarian, you could use tofu or tempeh)

2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter)

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 tomatoes

1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2 sliced red bell pepper

1/2 c cucumber

2 big handfuls of spring lettuce mix

1 cup flat-leaf parsley

3 oz crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

Heat grill to high (450 to 550 degrees). Mix 1 tbsp each lemon juice and oil, 1 tsp garlic, and 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, and cumin in a medium bowl. Add chicken (or veg option) and turn to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes or however long you can wait ;).

Grill chicken, turning once, until cooked through and browned, about 10-15 minutes. (It took me longer because I’m a newbie bbquer so I was constantly turning the bbq down, running inside and asking my dad to check it…haha. So if you’re a pro, bbq it like you normally do!)

burnin up! not really...they survived (the weird things below the chicken are tempeh, which i will talk about for a freaky food friday)

Make the dressing by whisking together the remaining 2 tbsp each lemon juice and oil, 2 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, and 1 tsp cumin with the tahini in a large bowl. Add the veggies and toss to coat. Slice chicken (or in my sister’s case, tempeh) and set on top. Sprinkle salads with parsley and feta!

kristin's vegetarian salad

the carnivore's salad

Yum. That was good.

I am going Clear Lake with the boyf this weekend, but will be back to posting on Monday! And maybe tomorrow if I have time in between the packing :D!

Questions of the day:

Do you follow the nail polish fashion trends? I sure don’t, as it is obvious I am years behind!

Do you tend to stick to the same thing for breakfast? Or do you like to try new things? I usually have the same thing, end up having it so often that I get sick of it, search for something new, love that, and then the cycle repeats itself!

xoxo!

Kara