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!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links!  Help support An Apple A Day when you purchase through the blog!  Thank you!

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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Green Apple, Walnut, Blue Cheese, and Red Onion Salad with Maple Dijon Vinaigrette

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These next couple weeks are CA-RAAAYYY-ZEEEE.  I have 7 bajillion exams, activities, soirées, travels to and from home, and gym sessions (*fingers crossed*) to attend to.  Meanwhile, I’m going to a Christmas centerpiece flowering arranging party with Bring-Your-Own-Wine by myself tonight.  Because I feel like it.  You’re all invited.

But, I’ve decided that’s what I love about the holidays.  No time for idle hands!  There is always the next task to do, the next present to wrap, the next Christmas movie to watch (The Santa Clause is my absolute favorite).  I love to write my To-Do list in seasonally appropriate colors, add some candy cane stickers, and get to work! Mixing in some HUGE batch cooking every couple days is a must and adding a salad here and there never hurt anybody.

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This has been my super secret Winter salad for years.  And I’m now just sharing it with you because it’s PERFECT for a side at your holiday dinner table!  Truth: I served it at Thanksgiving and a family party in the past month and the bowl was EMPTY before people could even go back for seconds.  I feel like I’ve been keeping the world’s best kept secret.  Ugh, such a sigh of relief to finally get this goodness out there.

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TGIF – Holiday Gift Guide Edition

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Merry Christmas!  Welcome to the special Holiday Gift Guide.  Here you’ll find gifts on my list and affordable things I’ve found for friends, family, and the men in your life!

For the BFF:

  • This is the greatest decanter for a bar cart.  Fun, fresh, and gold!  A perfect combination.
  • My friend once got me a jewelry dish for my bedside, and I use it daily.  This fun, zebra dish is a great gift for the glam girl.
  • For your fitness friend, this hot pink waterbottle keeps drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12!  Perfect for a girl on the go.
  • To add some sparkle to your gal’s couch, these Mi Casa Su Casa and Namastay in Bed pillows are perfect! I can think of so many friends that would love these.
  • For all those tea and coffee drinkers out there, this is the cutest, monogrammed mug.  Buy one for all your roommates and no one will forget which cup is theirs!
  • A shoutout to my medical school friends – these chromosome pillows are the cutest, quirkiest gift ever!

For Mom and Dad:

For the Men in your Life:

      • These Carry on Cocktail Kits – in varieties such as an Old Fashioned or Moscow Mule– are a fun stocking stuffer for a guy who travels a lot.  All they need is some spirits and they’re set!
      • Boyfriend approved – these travel jeans come in four different fits and TONS of different colors.  Dan has several pairs and they look great after washing, fit well, and are his go-to pants.
      • For the IPA lover in your life, this beer making kit will allow them to make their own 6-pack in their kitchen!  This is a must if your man loves his beer!
      • I got Dan this classic, leather banded watch for our anniversary, and it’s timeless.  It goes with almost everything and is can be dressed up or down!
      • My brother would love this Kershaw Chive Knife for every day tasks from cutting open boxes to crafty projects.
      • Instead of digging around for your phone charger, this weighted, 9 foot long iPhone charger is perfect for their nightstand.  And it’s stylish!
      • If you want to splurge – these new wireless Beats in-ear headphones are great for a runner or gym rat!

Things on My List:

Comment below with any of your gifts this year!  Spread on the inspiration and have a festive and cheerful holiday season!

xo, Maddy

Chicken Noodle Soup

Steaming soup with crunchy crackers

Steaming soup with crunchy crackers

Thanksgiving is over and the winter holidays are in full swing! As we all know so well, with the holidays come cookies, cakes, and Christmassy cocktails.  In between the dinner parties and bring-your-own-wine get togethers, it’s important to try and stay on track with eating healthy, nutritious food.  Otherwise, things can go haywire – fast!

One of my go-to magazines for day to day cooking is Cooking Light.  They have a TON of easy recipes for weeknights, sweet treats, and even comfort food like macaroni and cheese in every issue.  In fact, I actually subscribed to it and get so excited when it comes in the mail – total old school style.  In their November issue, they had this delicious, easy chicken noodle soup and I had to try it.

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TGIF

A delicious burrata, blistered tomato, and basil crostini I made for date-night-in the other night!

A delicious burrata, blistered tomato, and basil crostini I made for date-night-in the other night!

Thank God It’s Friday. You’re almost to happy hour, so sit back, pretend you’re working, and have a spreadsheet open somewhere. Enjoy these links inspiring me this week from around the web!

If Your Piggy Bank Is Full:

  • Don’t know what to get your significant other for Christmas?  Here’s a starter pack of winter sweaters that any guy would love.
  • For those trying to build up their bar cart, like us, these festive shot glasses and awesome decanter are at the top of my list!
  • Because you can never have enough over the knee black boots.
  • I’m in the market for a cute, plaid shirt for my Christmas party outfit!  If anyone has recommendations, let me know!
  • I bought this red, pleated skirt for holiday parties, and it’s so versatile!  I might be sporting it on 4th of July or Valentine’s Day.  So many options!

Weekend Eats:

Link Love:

Enjoy your weekend! xo, Maddy

Recipe Review: Autumn Spiced Cider Sangria

Autumn Cider Sangria!

Autumn Cider Sangria!

It’s Thirsty Thursday!  With so many festivities up on us, times call for a great cocktail to share amongst friends.  I’m sure you’ve heard me rave about How Sweet It Is, one of the best food blogs out there.  She posted a fantastic recipe for Autumn Spiced Cider Sangria on her facebook page (follow!) and immediately knew I had to make it.

Work in progress!

Work in progress!

I’ve cheated in sangria recipes before and drank right after mixing.  These is NOT one of those cheating moments.  This recipe hits the nail on the head.  If you didn’t watch me make this drink, you couldn’t pin point exactly what is in it except for straight *AuTuMn*.  It tastes like leaves falling, fires crackling, apple pie baking, football watching.  The ginger beer, apple cider, brandy, and cinnamon meld into something WONDERFUL!

Garnish Game on POINT

Garnish Game on POINT

So you MUST MUST make this for your Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, Football Watching Festivities!  10 points to you if you have mason jars to serve them in.  How cute!  If you’re more of a margarita fan, try her Apple Cider Margaritas, which are next on my list!

Special Thanks to How Sweet It Is for this delicious recipe!  Check out her blog for AWESOME food and drinks!  If you’re new to food blogs, this is MUST FOLLOW.

Recipe Review: Autumn Spiced Cider Sangria
Author: 
Recipe type: Cocktail
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Try this delicious autumn sangria for a real crowd pleasure during this holiday season! Tested by yours truly, this recipe is definitely an annual favorite.
Ingredients
  • 1 750 mL bottle of dry white wine (chardonnay)
  • 2½ cups fresh apple cider
  • 1 cup ginger beer
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 3 apples sliced thin
  • 3 pears sliced thin
  • 4 cinnamon sticks, plus extra for garnish
  • Cinnamon sugar to rim the cups
Instructions
  1. Combine wine, cider, ginger beer, brandy, apples, pears, and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher.
  2. Stir until well mixed. Let chill in fridge for an hour before serving.
  3. To make the best cinnamon sugar rim, fill one small bowl with sugar water and another with cinnamon/sugar combination.
  4. Dip an empty glass in sugar water first, then in the cinnamon/sugar combination until well coated.
  5. Fill glass with ice, sangria, and top with extra cinnamon sticks.
  6. Enjoy!