Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl

Feel the Tropical Breeze!

Feel the Tropical Breeze!

This week I was feeling tired of my classic winter breakfast of peanut butter toast or oatmeal topped with cold milk – the way my dad used to make it when I was a kid, the ONLY way.  I had to introduce some fruit into my life and decided to go summer-style with a smoothie bowl.  Topped with peanut butter and chocolate OBVIIIOUSLY.

I know half the country is stuck in their house – a perfect reason to bring out the frozen fruit in the back of your freezer you’ve been *meaning* to bake into a pie all year.  I used strawberries and bananas, but any fruit combinations will do.  Add in a handful of spinach if you’re feeling healthy-ambitious.  I’m thinking a blueberry mango bowl is in my very very near future….

The protein powder and Greek yogurt will keep you feeling full and the frozen fruit factor makes this heavier than a quick drink.  If you haven’t any protein powder, add extra Greek yogurt for your protein boost.  And cacao nibs are optional – but maybe sprinkle some chocolate chips on there 😉  I gotta say, the melty peanut butter makes all the difference though!

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend – rain, snow, or sun!

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Whip up this smoothie bowl for a light lunch or a filling breakfast. It'll make you dream of summer weather!
Ingredients
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1 handful strawberry slices, frozen
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup cashew milk (Or your milk of choice)
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. cacao nibs
Instructions
  1. Combine banana, strawberries, protein powder, milk, and Greek yogurt in a blender. Blend until smooth and well-mixed.
  2. Put peanut butter in microwave for 15 seconds, or until melty. Be sure not to overcook or it'll turn into a weird texture
  3. Pour into a bowl. Top with peanut butter and cacao nibs.

 

Cajun Seared Salmon with Asian Spiralized Salad

How FRESH and HEALTHY!

How FRESH and HEALTHY!

Lately I’ve been strugglin’ with getting into a serious routine.  Which is a *Grade A Problem* because soon I’ll be back in medical school, doing rotations, and my life schedule is largely determined by -NOT- me.  AKA…I show up no matter what day and what time if the doctors need me to help out.  Don’t get me wrong!  I’m super excited – I miss medicine.  Which is good or else I totally picked the wrong profession.

BUT I feel like I need to train myself back into being super efficient.  Which means waking up early to go to the gym before the day starts, Sunday food prep days, assembly line laundry sessions, you catch my drift?  Any tricks of the trade would be greatly appreciated!  Since I can’t live off of Easy Mac, I’ve got to gather an arsenal of quick, easy, healthy meals I can make after a 12 hour shift.  And what’s quicker and easier and healthier than salmon and a bomb-diggity-not-boring salad?  NOTHING!

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Gino “Pup-date”: 5 months

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If you’ve been following me on social media at ALL, you’ve probably noticed that we got a little Golden Retriever monster, Gino!  I know this is a cooking blog, but I like to fill everyone in on my life once in a while.  A lot of my readers are family and friends from all over the country (Hi, everyone!) and this is a great way to keep in touch with all of them.

Additionally, a lot of twenty-somethings (aka, all of my friends) decide to get a dog.  It’s a great way to see if you’re responsible enough to call yourself an adult – trust me.  It’s been a challenge, but I want to share some things that our dogs love so it saves you all some research down the road!

And for all my followers with older furry friends, we’ve got a 7-year-old Goldendoodle,  Callie!  She’s loving her new friend, but takes advantage of her size by jumping on the bed and escaping Gino’s teeth every once in a while.  Here are some doggy-duds we’ve been digging.  Click the links to find them online!

  • Himalayan Dog Chew:  I was a big fan of these because they’re completely digestible, last forever, and are stain-free (yay clean carpets!).  When I’m bustling around the house (one room apartment), I like to give Gino one of these to keep him busy forever.  We take them away when they get really small, but they’ve lasted about 3 weeks a piece!
  • Crazy Dog Training Treats:  When you’re shelling out training treats like candy, you don’t want to spend big bucks on them.  For under 3 dollars, these are a steal.  The dogs love them, and so far, they’ve worked!  Gino can officially “sit” at command.  The chicken flavor is their favorite!

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  • KONG Air Dog Squeakair Tennis Balls: Squeaking + Puppy = happy dog.  I want Gino to become a big fan of fetching the tennis ball because it’s a GREAT way to tire out a dog!  He’s been romping around the house after these squeaky balls.  They’re a little more pricy than plain ol’ tennis balls, but they are durable against his sharp teeth and have the extra sound effects!
  • KONG Tugger Knots Moose Toy: Two rope pulls, squeaky on the inside, and has tough chewing surfaces.  The two dogs love to tug this back and forth and Gino loves to chew on the tough ropes when he’s teething.  It’s become one of his favorite toys!

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  • Petsafe Easy Walk Dog Harness: I CANNOT tell you how great this harness has been.  When you’ve got one 60-lb dog and another one rapidly growing, it’s crucial to be able to control them on a walk.  Callie’s pulling immediately stopped with this front-attaching harness.  Gino is almost big enough to both need one and be able to fit in one!  Callie wears a large (I’d recommend that size for all big dogs).  A MUST-HAVE for anyone walking their giant pooches!
  • Folding Metal Dog Crate: We bit the bullet and got this durable, big dog crate.  It’ll be big enough for Gino until he’s full grown and it’s got a side door so it can hide and not take up too much space.  With a comfy dog bed inside and a big sheet covering the top and sides, it’s his little cave!  You’d be crazy to get a puppy without a crate, and this has become a crucial purchase!

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  • Dog Waste Bags with Dispenser and Leash Clip:  When your dog does his business 5 times a day, these waste bags are a fantastic way to keep the neighbors happy.  The leash clip is great for long walks, and they sell them in giant packs on Amazon so you never run out!
  • Elevated Dog Feeder:  Both Callie and Gino have their own dog feeder so they don’t get greedy and steal each other’s food.  The elevated feeders are nice because they eliminate the mess you’ll get when bowls are knocked over.  And when he gets big, it’ll be easier for him to eat out of!

Some other tricks –

  • Buy your dog beds at Homegoods!  They have a great deal on little toys and dog beds.  DON’T fall for the crazy prices at PetCo!
  • Speaking of PetCo and PetSmart – check out their website before you go shopping.  We’ve found coupons that you can print out and save some bucks.
  • If you’ve got a CostCo membership, Kirkland has great dog food!  We’ve been getting Callie’s food there for eternity, and now Gino uses the puppy food.  You’ll save some dollars from the normal pet store.

If you’re thinking about a puppy or are tackling one already, try out some of these great finds!  They’ve been lifesavers over the past month.  Stay tuned for more Gino pup-dates and great pictures!

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Healthy Zucchini Noodle Ramen

Delicious nutritious soup - a remake of an old classic!

Delicious nutritious soup – a remake of an old classic!

I’ve had this a draft of this recipe written since September – but for various reasons I haven’t posted it yet.  The only pictures I had were in a purple bowl and I’ve decided purple is an unappetizing color.  I thought people would find the egg + soup combination strange.  Using the college, orange-wrapped noodles seemed like cheating.  But, *ALAS*!  I have found just the tweak this recipe needed!

I finally bought a spiralizer and have completely fell in love.  I started with the classic spiralized veggie – ZUCCHINI!  The “zoodles” ended up great – they didn’t get mushy in the soup and added a *crunch* component to the soothing broth that turned out really well.  I couldn’t be happier!  And now I can’t stop spiralizing.  I couldn’t fall asleep last night because I was trying to come up with something to spiralize for breakfast — Update: I still haven’t thought of anything.

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Recipe Review: Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala - waiting for you in your slow cooker!

Delicious Chicken Tikka Masala – waiting for you in your slow cooker!

Hi All! Happy New Year!  I know it’s been a while since I posted – finals and the holidays got the best of me.  But I had an amazing time back in Minnesota.  We attended 2 Christmas parties, watched copious amounts of football, went to a fantastic sparkling wine and appetizer cooking class, attended mass on Christmas Day and headed straight up to Lutsen, MN where we got to enjoy the slopes and a quaint little cabin, 20 feet from Lake Superior.

I got to come back for NYE and celebrate with Dan and his family with a bomb diggity meal of mussels in spicy thai curry sauce, homemade caesar salads (I’ll share the recipe soon!), pasta carbonara and crab legs.  And a (couple) bottles of champagne.  It was amazing.  But, with all the imbibing and fantastic food I’ve had lately, it’s time for the “new year, new me!” cliche.

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