Two Meals in One... Kinda...

If you follow me on instagram, you know I love to cook. I make it a *thing* -- I have a glass of red wine, I put tunes on, probably dance, Alex is usually sitting at the island chatting, and Maple is ALWAYS at my feet.

I like to make cooking fun. Even on the weeknights (if I have time!)

Here's a meal I made Sunday that was SO easy, so delicious, and I used the leftovers to make a super simple different meal on Monday. Whammie! All the ingredients I got at Trader Joe's because it's my fave. But you can find them where ever. When we moved, I decided I didn't enjoy going to the Kroger near us, so I now travel 5 extra minutes (woa) to the Trader Joe's.

SO WORTH IT. I actually enjoy grocery shopping again!

OK ANYWAYS. Here's the recipe!

Sunday Sumer "Slaw" (AKA: Zoodle-Brussels-Broccoli-Apple with Pesto) with Steak

Ingredients:

For the Slaw:

  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 bag of brussels sprouts
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 2 apples
  • 1 tablespoon Ghee (or olive oil)
  • Salt + pepper

For the Pesto:

  • heaping handful of basil
  • 1/8 cup parm cheese
  • 1/4 cup almond slivers
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • 1 clove garlic

*Add your protein of choice to serve along side. I love steak... so that's what we paired with this, and it was amazing. 

Ok here goes:

For the pesto:

Throw the basil, parm cheese, almonds, olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic into a food processor and pulse until creamy. If it seems too thick/chunky, just add in more olive oil.

For the slaw:

Chop the ends off of the Brussels sprouts and discard, then chop the Brussels spouts up into slivers, chop the broccoli into little florets,  spiralize the two zucchini and the 2 apples.

Heat a large frying pan to medium/high heat, and add the ghee (or olive oil). Once it's heated up, add the brussels sprouts, broccoli and some salt and pepper. Cook until you see the brussels start to brown. 

Meanwhile, start cooking your steaks or whatever protein you want.

Then, add the zoodles and apples to the frying pan and toss everything together. Cook only a few minutes, until you touch the zoodles and they JUST got warmed up (otherwise they'll get watery!)

Add the pesto to the slaw and mix it all up, serve on the side of the steak, and whammie! You're done! Enjoy!

This will make enough slaw for lots of leftovers (if you're cooking for two, that is!)

So.... that turns into Monday night's meal: Spinach and Chive Linguini with the Sunday Slaw + Sun dried Tomatoes with Chicken Sausage

Ingredients:

  • Sunday Night's Slaw
  • Spinach and Chive linguini from Trader Joe's (or another linguini, or hell any other pasta)
  • 3 links chicken sausage (I love Trader Joe's spicy Italian)
  • 1 bag sun dried tomatoes
  •  2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup romano cheese

Boil the water for the pasta.

Meanwhile, chop the sausage and put it into a hot frying pan with olive oil. Once it starts to brown, add the sun dried tomatoes.

Add the pasta to the boiling water.

Then, add the Sunday Slaw to the sausage and sun dried tomatoes and mix it all up. 

Meanwhile, drain the pasta, then add it to the frying pan with the slaw mixture, toss it all around.

Add the balsamic and cheese, and you guessed it: mix it all around.

Presto, whammie - there ya go! Another delicious meal, and guess what? You'll have enough leftovers for Tuesday.

Holler. Enjoy!

 

 

GoreMade Pizza for the Win

So remember that time (cough cough last week) that I blogged about my life-changing Saturday (aka yesterday)? When Alex and I were going to bring back our dream puppy, Maple, the Bernese Mountain Dog from Canada (just 45 min east of Canada)?

Yeah... well, long story short, after falling head over heals in love with Maple as she cuddled on my lap driving to the border... we had complications entering the US. Because little Maple was only 9-weeks-old and couldn't have her rabies vaccine yet, they said we needed extra paperwork from the CDC, a rule they apparently only recently started enforcing. (Which, also I think is bullshit because a Berner born in America ALSO wouldn't have her rabies shot yet... but nobody cares... soooooo riddle me that - ANYWHO NOT THE POINT OF THIS BLOG).

Needless to say, I. Was. Heartbroken. Let's be real, writing this, I still am. I will be until I get my baby back! We had to bring Maple back to her breeder and contact the CDC. We are hoping to hear back this week  and my goal is to have my chunky little fur ball Berner Bear in my arms by Friday. I AM DETERMINED.

ANYWAYS. This is the food section of my blog, so obvi this post is actually about food, but I needed to paint you the picture.

Alex and I left Columbus at 7am that day and with all the border chaos we didn't get back until 7pm. We were mentally, physically, and EMOTIONALLY drained. I spent a better part of that day crying. 

We were STARVING, had no food at home and didn't want to go anywhere far, so Alex suggested we try out the little pizza place just a block from our new apartment. Sounded good to me!

We walk into GoreMade Pizza, on 4th Street in Italian Village, it's a small space, super cozy with exposed brick walls and an L-shaped bar. The giant wood-fired pizza oven sits behind the bar, the focal point of the place, and there are a few tables and booths to the left of all this. 

The staff welcomed us in, it was a quiet night at the restaurant, they were SUPER friendly and told us make ourselves comfortable. To that I said, YES PLEASE, WE NEED BEER, STAT, IT HAS BEEN A DAY.

So we plop down, they bring us the menu, and then... they asked us about our day... As in they truly cared to hear our story. Which was really nice! I thought to myself, YES I WANT TO TELL YOU THIS INSANE STORY, THANK YOU FOR CARING!

ANYWHO -

The owner and head pizza maker, Nick, told us all about how the place started. He had always had a passion for making pizzas in his wood-fired oven, and actually spent seven years perfecting the crust (we learned this after vocally going NUTS over how delicious it was). He would make pizza for a bunch of his neighbors in Clintonville, they called it Pizza Sunday. Eventually, this wonderful weekly community night became the restaurant: GoreMade Pizza. And damn does the man know how to craft pizza. My favorite part of the menu is the Chef's Choice pizza. You can be like, hey Nick, make me a pizza with this ingredient and he'll design you a pizza around it. Or you can just be like, hey Nick, I trust your amazing taste, make me something good, and that he will.

Nick is all about supporting local. He told us how they buy all their produce and ingredients from as close as possible, and change their menu according to what the farmers have in season. The veggies on our salad (some sort of beet I have never heard of, swiss chard, balsamic, and I forget what else) he had just picked up from the farmer that day. And god damn was that salad delicious. So fresh!

Then there  was the apple tart. It had been a long day, so when they asked us, would you like the apple tart for dessert? Alex and I immediately said, OH HELL YES. With vanilla gelato? OF COURSE.

We take a bite: oh. my. god.

So then Nick tells us the story of his friend Shauna, who would attend Pizza Sundays and bring all sorts of delicious baked goods. This tart was inspired by a recipe her grandma Sally used to make. Nick showed us a photo from when Shauna brought Sally to the restaurant for the first time, and she tried the inspired tart... for the first time (and LOVED IT, obviously).

If you haven't come to this conclusion yet... let me say it for you loud and clear: GoreMade Pizza is a GEM.

It has fantastic food all around, from the salads to the pizzas and then dessert, along with wonderful craft beer and cocktail menu with excellent local options.

All that is great, of course, but what really sets it apart is the passion, the heart, and the story behind the food. What sets it apart is Nick and his awesome crew who took care of us like we were family. They made devastated me laugh so hard and for the time being forget how sad I was that I wasn't snuggling Maple. 

It's rare that you come across places like GoreMade. There are a lot of fantastic restaurants in Columbus, but GoreMade has that extra special x-factor.

Of course, the time we hit a true grand slam of a restaurant choice, we both had left our phones at home (too tired and drained from explaining the Maple story to all of our loving and concerned friends and family) -- so we couldn't snap a pic!

Don't worry though, I already told Nick we're his newest regulars, so we'll be back soon, and when we do, pics are a-coming. ;)

Nick and GoreMade crew, thank you so much for such a wonderful Saturday night. We can't wait to come back.

Check their website out here.

 

Healthy Home Cooking Made SIMPLE.

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin?

Yup. My grandpa used to say that basically any time you were in the kitchen. Or... not anywhere near a kitchen... really, that was his version of "what's up?!"

And, well I’ll tell you what’s cookin… LOTS, lately!

If you follow my blog, you know that my 2017 theme is to slow down. And one of the WONDERFUL perks of slowing down has been added playtime in the kitchen. I've always loved to cook, but 2016 got so bat shit crazy busy that my kitchen time was 100% meh.

So, I’d like to share my two new 2017 kitchen ESSENTIALS. I got these as Christmas gifts, and hot damn, they are the gifts that keep on giving.

1. The Inspiralizer + Inspiralized Cook Book

2. The Simply Taylor Blog Cook Book, “Real Food, Real Simple.”

I’ve written a previous post about spiralizing, but ermergawd, my little hand held spiralizer I had PRE-Christmas 2016 is NOTHING compared to my new amazing Inspiralizer that can make pasta out of like any veggie (or fruit!) ever. And you guys, it’s only like $30 on Amazon…. WHY DID I NOT GET THIS LIKE YEARS AGO?!

With the Inspiralizer, I’ve been making pasta out of veggies like zucchini (duh), sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and rutabaga… and that’s just the beginning… And it is SO freaking easy! It takes all of 1 minute to spiralize a zucchini, and that includes the time to wash and dry the damn thing. Also note to self, just two sweet potatoes makes MOUNDS OF PASTA.

What’s even better is that the cookbook to go along with the Inspiralizer is just as inexpensive and offers OODLES of super creative ways to cook insanely healthy and DELICIOUS meals. 

Some of my faves? Sweet potato carbonara (I’ve already made it 3 times…), butternut squash and kale lasagna, and zucchini noodles with avocado pesto. Excuse me, I’m drooling over here.

But you know what/who ELSE is rocking my world and who also happens to have some delicious recipes for my spiralizer? Taylor Riggs, the woman (and Registered Dietician) behind Simply Taylor Blog - her new cookbook… Real Food, Real Simple has become something of a bible to me. It’s just oozing with goodness. No seriously, I’ve been a crazed woman ever since that book arrived on my doorstep.

What haven’t I made from her book is the real question. DELICIOUS energy bites (the dark chocolate pecan are sooooo tasty), her Every Day granola has literally become just that… maple vanilla chia seed pudding, and gahhhh her sweet potato noodles with this cheesy cashew cream sauce, kale and onion… so good.

SO GOOD. SO SO GOOD.

What I love most about Taylor's recipes is that they really are simple. The book's name doesn't lie, ya'll! I can remember looking up healthy recipes pre-Taylor and often there were just SO many expensive ingredients that I couldn't even find at Kroger and required so many different cooking techniques. They just weren't accessible meals to be making on a Monday night, ya feel me? 

Not with Taylor! Creative, delicious, HEALTHY meals made with REAL food that are friendly for even a beginner cook. Plus, the book is SUPER PRETTY, Allie at the Wonder Jam did the photography, and as a former photo intern who sat in on many a food photo shoot for Women's Health Mag back in the day, I really appreciate the time and talent that goes into food photography!

Ok so basically you all just need to head over to Amazon and buy these books for yourselves (and the Inspiralizer… which apparently you can also now purchase at Sur La Table…).

But until you do, I’ll just entice you with their blogs and include some of my fave recipes that I’ve made from them!

***Also: I think it’s noteworthy that I’m not the only taste-tester who approves of these cookbooks… my man has enjoyed every single recipe I’ve made thus far! He’s always like, wait, this is what?!***

Hehe. ENJOY. (AND YOU’RE WELCOME).

... I'm now heading into the kitchen to cook some top notch Super Bowl noms from Real Food, Real Simple...

Inspiralized:

Chicken and butternut squash pasta: http://inspiralized.com/chicken-and-broccoli-butternut-squash-pasta/

Spiralized Sweet Potato, Kale and Goat Cheese Frittata: http://inspiralized.com/spiralized-sweet-potato-kale-and-goat-cheese-frittata-recipe-with-lemon-arugula-salad/

Avocado Basil Pesto Zucchini Noodles: http://inspiralized.com/avocado-basil-pesto-zucchini-noodles/

Simply Taylor:

Sweet potato noodles with “cheesy” cashew sauce: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-28120/healthy-comfort-food-sweet-potato-noodles-with-kale-creamy-cashew-sauce.html

Banana chocolate chip muffins: http://simply-taylor.com/2017/01/17/banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

Roasted maple brussles sprouts with apple and walnuts: http://simply-taylor.com/2015/09/30/roasted-maple-brussels-sprouts-with-apple-and-walnuts/

My Top Ten Places to Nom in Cbus: A Balanced Edition

So… I love to eat. Like, I really, really love food. When I go on trips, they revolve around what food I'm eating when and where.

In Chicago I dream of donuts. In Boston GIVE ME ALL THE SUSHI and lobster. When I go home to Stow, Ohio, I’ll take a Dave’s Cosmic Sub, please. Visiting my Grandmother in Niagara Falls, NY? I'll take DiCamillo's bread and a Viola's steak and cheese.

It just so happens that our wonderful city of Columbus happens to also be a foodie's paradise. Needless to say, I'm a happy camper here.

So I decided to compile a top ten list. I give to you, a carefully curated list of my top 10 favorite places to eat in Columbus. 5 are healthy spots, and 5 are treat yoself spots.

Because: balance.

Top 5 Healthy (in no particular order)

1.    Alchemy Juice Co. This place is only a hop, skip and a jump from where I work downtown… it’s right on Parsons across from Nationwide Childrens Hospital.... which is DANGEROUS for me, because if could, I’d eat there EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

It’s delicious and nutritious, a menu carefully created by their amazing dietician, Alexis Joesph, you may know her as the Hummusapian. And all I have to say is, WAY TO SLAY, woman.

My faves? The Cherry Cheezecake Acai bowl… the no bake bites thrown in are heaven… AND the Bean Burger. Shout out to my blogger, foodie home girl, Mandi Cohen for that suggestion… I honestly love that damn cherry cheesecake bowl SO MUCH that I was so worried to try something else… I mean how can ANYTHING compare? But alas, one day I felt adventurous and did… and hot damn my taste buds were like BOW DOWN TO THE BEAN BURGER.

This is that DELICIOUS Alchemy Bean Burger. ALL THE FEELS.

This is that DELICIOUS Alchemy Bean Burger. ALL THE FEELS.

 

2.    Fusian: This place is gold, and I’ve already written about how fantastic it is – so scroll down and read the full review. My fave: brown rice on soy wrap, with salmon, cucumber, avocado, and whatever the seasonal is! The BEST seasonals are the fruit options, but they currently have roasted Brussels sprouts, and they're fabulous.

3.    Zest Juice Co. Zest’s smoothies and juices make me all heart-face emogi. The one in Grandview is just down the street from my apartment and from Cycle614, and I LOVE to “treat” myself (in a healthy way!) to the PB&J Smoothie for breakfast after a sweaty yoga or cycle class.

Another great insider tip? I swear by their Detox juice when I’m feeling a tickle in my throat. It has lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper (among other things?) – and hot damn does that cayenne pepper burn all the way down in the BEST way. Bye-bye sore throat!

4.    North Star. DUH. It’s a Columbus staple!  I LOVE their North Star (bean based veggie) burger. I mean, it’s famous around town, so no surprise there! But if you for some reason have yet to try it… don’t walk, RUN! To make it even healthier, ask for it without a bun. The simple salad they serve on the side is divine. Ok, you got me, I actually at this just the other night... so it's fresh on my foodie mind!

5.  The Crest. Ok, so there are LOTS of delicious treat yoself items here (truffle fries with garlic aioli, honey glazed cheese balls, bison burgers…) but they also have healthy gems on the menu. Specifically: their salad selection is legit. You won’t even view your salad choice as a “sacrifice” to the other menu items because it’s just THAT good. Eating a salad shouldn't mean missing out on taste, am I right? Their menu is also super friendly if you have any sort of food allergy, items are identified as gluten free, vegetarian, even vegan! That's just straight up considerate, and I love it. 

Top Five TREAT YOSELF

1.    Sweet Carrot. I have very high standards for mac n cheese. VERY HIGH. As in, I got to a point in my life where I just wouldn’t order it at restaurants, because their “fancy” versions would just always fall flat. Too creamy, not enough cheesy… or SOMETHING. I was ALWAYS disappointed.

Then… Sweet Carrot opened up a block from my apartment, and ROCKED. MY. WORLD.

Their mac n cheese with BBQ pulled pork and fried artichokes are what dreams are made of. Every bite is a trip to taste bud cosmic wondrous heaven.  Go. Now.

2.    Condado. I mean who doesn’t love a damn good taco (or 3)? Especially ones that you can choose exactly what you want in? ME ME ME! GIMME! My weird tip? I'm OBSESSED with their tofu. And this comes from the girl who LOVES short rib tacos.... but really... I ALWAYS get their tofu in one of my tacos... Be careful though, because if you’re like me, you’ll order the queso, and eat so much because it’s the best queso in the whole damn world, that by the time your taco comes you’re like ummmmmmm, haha seeeeee the thing is: queso. The key is to reach out to friends for support. Tell them about this dangerous queso tendency, ask them to help you stop when you feel out of control…

3. Hadley's. This is a new one! I’ve gone a few times now and have gotten to try a bunch of different items on the menu. I mean, their apps section is off the chain. Ready? Fried cauliflower tots, the best brined wings you’ve ever experienced melting in your mouth, brie mac n cheese that lived up to my high standards, GRILLED CHEESE BITES to dip in tomato soup, PIZZA BREAD… and the list goes on!

Their burgers are also classic and wonderful… not to mention their truffle shoe-string fries that disappear QUITE quickly….

4. Fox in the Snow. The best strategy here is to divide and conquer because everything is so fantastic. Go with friends so you can order a BUNCH of different pastries AND the egg sandwich. My faves? Well the egg sandy, duh – the arugula on it is perfection – and the cinnamon roll. It’s ooey, gooey glaze covered goodness.

5. Yellowbrick Pizza. I feel like this gem gets lost in the sea of Columbus gourmet pizza shops. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some Harvest and Deweys… but this guy, which I’m lucky to know about due to working in Old Town East… is a little slice of pizza perfection. Not to mention… in the summer their patio is fire. So I just wanted to show them some extra love, because these people know how to make a damn good pizza. Their crust is where it’s at. Crispy and doughy all at the same time. And they build creative pies... like the Elliot Smith which has thyme, pear, bacon, honey drizzle.... hungry yet?

Ok honestly I could go on and on about the good food spots in Cbus. Not mentioned but deserving of GREAT praise: Balboa (short rib tacos!), Brassica, The Rossi, Destination Donuts, and DK Diner (breakfast sandy all the way!).

I've Fallen in Love with Spiralizing.

My super cool sister-in-law Ashley was the first person I knew to really get into spiralizing. I'd heard about it, but didn't feel like buying a fancy machine thing to actually make it happen. It seemed like a lot of work.

But she'd snap chat me all the time (from Bangkok, mind you) with the coolest looking dinners that she spiralized!

When Alex got me this little handheld spiralizer for my birthday... I was like ok, let's give this thing a whirl.

Then... I found the blog Inspiralized and now I am COMPLETELY OBSESSED. We spiralize at LEAST once a week. I already know I'm asking for the Inspiralized specific Inspiralizer and cookbook for Christmas...

Ok so my fave so far? The classic zucchini noodles. It's SO SUPER EASY.

Here's what I do:

  1. Wash, dry, and then spiralize the zucchini (I do 2 per person... cuz I like to eat a lot... hehe)
  2. Put a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a skillet, add some garlic if you're diggin that
  3. Add the zucchini noodles
  4. Add in some pesto (homemade or store bought, whatevs yall, I don't usually have time to make my own... womp)
  5. Add in a bit of goat cheese (because.... yum)
  6. Stir it around.
  7. DONE!

I like to pair this pasta with turkey meatballs, which are also super easy to make, here's what I do... and no, I don't measure, I just eyeball it and make sure the consistency is good enough to roll into balls that will stick together:

  1. Mix a pound of ground turkey, some bread crumbs, some parmesan cheese, diced yellow or red onion, minced garlic, sea salt, pepper, one egg.
  2. Bake them in the oven or throw them in a frying pan with some olive oil!
  3. DONE!

There ya have my current obsession: zucchini noodles with turkey meatballs. Yum. Yum. YUM. Healthy. Nutritious. Delicious.

This food got me through graduate school. But really.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away (jk it's only 2 miles away from where I'm sitting and was only a year ago), I was in a combined Masters/PhD program at The Ohio State University. It was research intensive and SUPER fun.

Jk, lolz, it was pretty grueling and graduating was the happiest day of my life.

Learned a ton of important stuff though, stuff that'll hopefully help me make the world a better place someday, so that's always cool.

ANYWAYS, my first semester I had a statistics and a research methods class back-to-back. At night. I'm talking like 530-830pm or something like that. I have tried to block it out of my memory, so excuse me for not knowing the exact timeframe. 

It was BRUTAL. After the first week, it became pretty apparent that I needed to find a way to survive and thrive to make it out alive.  I mean hey, I'm all about making the best out of torturous situations that you can't avoid.

Well, lucky for me there exists a magical place where all your tastebud dreams come true.

...It's also pretty healthy. (She shoots, she scores! --- wait, I'm awful at basketball so that would never happen).

...And it's an Ohio born concept/restaurant. (...AND A HALF-COURT SHOT WINS THE GAME!)

Its name is Fusian, and it's sushi and all sorts of wonderful. (The crowd goes WILD!)

Ya'll Fusian got me through graduate school. My friends and I decided to formally instate Sushi Thursday that first semester. Yup, to make our statistics+research methods nightmare a little more dreamy, we would always, rain or shine, walk across campus to Fusian before class. We counted down the days until Sushi Thurs.

Many of you have likely been there... but I've talked to way too many of you who haven't... and thus, this post is NECESSARY. Especially since they recently opened one in my hood (YAHOO!), and one in Clintonville... and Easton... they're basically taking over the world, which is super awesome for the world.

Fusian for President?

Now that's something I'll wear a red hat for. Yard sign, anybody?

(Here are some super cool pics from their awesome instagram).

Ok. Let's talk about the food.

Let's first get one thing straight. I am a sushi snob. After going to school on the East Coast... I was used to, you know, fish from right in my back yard. And ohhhhh did Boston have some amazing sushi places (hey Shauna, wanna order Fin's every week for our entire senior year? Hawaii Maki and a Special Roll, please, oh wait... we already did that).

At Fusian, you pick what you want in your sushi roll, just like you pick what you want in your burrito. Do you want a seaweed wrap or a soy wrap? (I like soy). Do ya want white or brown rice? (brown, please!) Now how about that protein... salmon, tuna? Maybe chicken? (Say huh?!) And of course there are a plethora of veggie choices. My fave is always their seasonal... this month's is beets. Three cheers for beets! 

They also have delicious sides: the miso and the cucumber salad are my favorite. OH. And their drinks, let's talk about those. Agave Gingerade, anyone? Lavendar Lemonade? Just do yourself a favor and read straight from their site about their in-house, made fresh every day drinks. 

Ok. So there ya have it. When you want something fast, something casual, and something healthy... and, you know, if you need a food that will save you from a hellish situation, like back-to-back stats/research methods night classes in graduate school, do yourself a favor and swing by Fusian.

You can thank me later.

*My go-to Fusian creation: soy warp + brown rice + salmon + avocado + cucumber + jalepeno + their seasonal! Top it off with sesame seeds and ginger and bam pow: heaven in a roll.

What's that? You don't live in Columbus? My deepest apologies, it's truly a fantastic place to live.

(They do have them in Dayton and Cinci, too, though... oh you don't even live in Ohio? Sorry about that.)

Check out their awesome instagram account here. @eatfusian

 

 

 

Let's start this section off with a little something healthy.

Here's how I roll when it comes to the kitchen and filling my stomach.

Most of the time (you know, when I'm not discovering a new donut shop with Alex), I try my best to eat real food. By real food, I mean stuff that's not processed. I'll mainly shop the perimeter of the grocery store because I like to fuel up with the basics: fruits and veggies and lean proteins. I'm a big fan of complex carbohydrates (aka: oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole grain breads...) and healthy fats (poly + monounsaturated fats) that are found in things like all nut butters and avocados.

Speaking of nut butters... aka tasty sources of healthy fats and protein... Here's an easy little tip I learned from one of the fabulous dietitians at Columbus Public Health awhile back (here's looking to you, Cheryl!): when you buy peanut butter or almond butter (or whatever nut butter you love) just make sure it's the kind you have to stir. If that oil isn't there to stir in, that means there's some not-so-awesome hydrogenated oils in your peanut butter that you're just better off without. 

Just look at the ingredient list, the only ingredient listed should be the nut... peanuts, or almonds, or cashews... that's it! Nada else!

Ok. So why am I going off about nut butters and stuff? Well one of my fave healthy snacks (I eat two or three of these a day!) is kind of like a homemade granola bar... and the glue that holds them together is your fave nut butter. I call them my AmazeBalls. Because they're little balls of deliciousness.

You can really take this recipe and make it what you like, but here's how I do 'em:

  • 1 cup gluten-free rolled-oats (Trader Joe's has a giant bag of these for cheap)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds and flax seeds (check it out, seeds are really good for us)
  • 3/4 cup cup of all natural, unsalted peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 scoops of Vega (plant based) chocolate protein powder (shout out to Hummusapian for suggesting it, I'm OBSESSED... oh and her recipes are incredible... check out her blog)

*Sometimes I'll add organic dried cherries or cranberries... and if I'm deciding not to care about adding in some sugar, I'll throw in a little touch of honey. 

Then all you really gotta do is mix it up, roll 'em into balls, and pop them in the fridge! Healthy snacks ready to go. They also are a great fix for your sweet-tooth...

*Side-note: my man likes adding chocolate chips to his version -- so again, feel free to get creative! Coconut flakes, anybody? Cashew butter? GO CRAZY! ;)