Good morning and happy Thursday! I can’t believe it’s September already. Of course, just as I was singing Fall’s praises, we get slammed with a heat wave!
Yesterday I had another, glorious day off. I slept in, then hit the gym with Ari for 30 minutes on the bike. When we got home, I made breakfast while Ari was in the shower, and used up the last of the canned pumpkin for myself. I’m a little selfish sometimes. :-X I needed my pumpkin cake fix! (For instructions on how to make one yourself, click here.)
I spent the rest of the morning doing laundry and computer work, and broke to eat the last Chocolate Pumpkin Protein Bar.
We have some house guests staying with us, and they were kind enough to bring fresh produce from their garden and local orchard.
For fun, just look at the difference between small farm-grown tomatoes and conventional tomatoes. Can you tell which is which?
No comparison! The farm-grown tomatoes are ruby-red and flavorful, while the conventional tomatoes literally pale next to them.
They also brought us fresh peaches! Every time I walk past the box I get a whiff of the most perfect perfume.
For lunch, I made a big, bright salad.
- mixed greens
- 1 head of broccoli, steamed
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- 1 heirloom tomato
- 1 Boca Spicy Chik’n burger <—- guilty pleasure… I love these guys!
- lemon juice
Pretty much the entire rest of the day was spent cooking. I made four things! I’ll tell you about them in the upcoming posts, but here’s a preview:
I will share one with you, and it’s a good one! Ari and I have been going through these babies so fast… the Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars only lasted a few days. I almost feel guilty calling these “protein bars” because they taste just like oatmeal cookies! And they will make your kitchen smell just like heaven.
Sunflower Cranberry Protein Bars
Makes 8 bars
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup protein powder
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1 t baking powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 cup almond butter (I used honey flavored)
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- flax egg (1 T ground flax + 3 T water, combined and set aside 5 minutes)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 T sunflower seeds
- 3 T dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 12 x 9-inch baking dish. Combine first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine almond butter and agave until smooth. Mix in flax egg and sugar. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. Stir in sunflower seeds and dried cranberries. Press batter evenly into baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then cut into 8 bars and serve.
Like most of Mama Pea‘s recipes, I’d been looking forward to making her Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna ever since she posted it. There was a little confusion when we divided up the grocery list and instead of shredded cheese, we ended up with vegan mozzarella singles. No matter!
I find cutting even slices to be a bit of a challenge, but it wasn’t anything to cry about.
I spread out the cheese as best I could…
… and 30 minutes later, the zebra stripes remained. So much for the “melt”-ability the package boasts, but no matter! I actually really liked the taste of the “mozzarella,” and found it tasted quite a bit like the real thing.
Unlike Mama’s, however, our lasagna didn’t hold at all! It turned into one big (tasty) mush. We both loved the flavor, though, and went back for seconds!
For dessert, I made myself a tasting plate with a peach, roasted almonds, and square of 85% dark chocolate. The darker, the better!
A week from today, I’ll be in France! I’m getting excited. My goal is to have most of the packing done before the morning of the flight, but I always end up stuffing things into my suitcase in a hurry just minutes before we leave for the airport.
Do you have any packing and travel tips? When you don’t have access to exercise equipment, what kinds of workouts do you do?