I think the best part about being home this week is the opportunity I have to wine and dine with this lovely lady.
The second best part about being home is wining and dining with this lady while watching
romantic reality TV engagement proposals.
Last night my mom and I enjoyed make-your-own Cobb Salads while viewing the finale of The Bachelor.
We started watching the show together when I was in high school (does anyone remember Trista and Ryan?!), so it was definitely fun to gossip about the contestants, just as we used to.
Even though the finale certainly didn’t make my heart go pitter-patter (did anyone else find the proposal sadly unromantic?) dinner definitely did.
I can’t remember the last time I ate a Cobb Salad! At restaurants, they’re typically laden with not-so-great-for-you ingredients, but for some reason it had never dawned on me that I could make a healthy version at home until yesterday. I filled my plate with grilled lemon chicken, avocado, red onion, egg, cherry tomatoes, spinach and romaine, and topped it with Toby’s Ranch. The dressing was a real treat, as it’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed Ranch—the only dressing I’d eat when I was young— on top of my greens.
This dinner came together in 15 minutes, but the best part about it was all of its different components. I love meals that have a variety of contrasting textures and flavors. Mixing and matching as I work around my plate makes eating more fun!
After our savory salads, I was craving something sweet.
Before I arrived, my mom did a big grocery shop, and asked if there was anything I wanted. I sent her on a hunt for chia seeds, which she’d never heard of, but successfully tracked down.
Chia seeds are one of those trendy ingredients that appear frequently on healthy living blogs, but one that I’d never tried! The’ve always intimidated me!
I used the chia seeds to make Chocolate Chia Peanut Butter Pudding, which I adapted from this recipe. However, I didn’t realize that the pudding needed to sit for 1-2 hours, and simply couldn’t wait that long to satisfy my chocolate craving.
I almost squealed when I found Chocolate Chia Muffin Tops at The Boise Coop, a local health foods store, yesterday. I used to eat a Deep Chocolate Vitatop every day, but when I found out I couldn’t eat gluten, I had to kiss them goodbye.
The folks at Udi’s have cooked up an even tastier alternative!
These chocolate chip-packed treats are SO good.
As for the chia pudding?
Well, I enjoyed it this morning.
Who says you can’t eat dessert for breakfast?
Chocolate + banana + peanut butter for the win!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Chia Pudding
adapted from Fat Free Vegan
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used Silk unsweetened almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons PB2 or peanut flour
- 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder (I used Tera’s Whey)
- 2 packets stevia
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- bananas for garnish
1. Place the milk, vanilla, PB2, protein powder and cocoa in the blender and add stevia to taste. Blend until cocoa is completely incorporated.
2. Pour milk mixture into a bowl and add the chia seeds. Stir well, making sure that all the seeds are moistened. Leave out on the counter and stir periodically (about every 15 minutes or so), breaking up any clusters that form. Allow it to stand until the pudding has thickened and all liquid has been absorbed, about two hours.
3. Refrigerate. Serve topped with bananas or fruit of choice. You could also drizzle more peanut butter on top, or add nuts for crunch!
Nutrition per serving (1 LARGE serving!): Calories: 346; Fat: 13.3 grams; Carbs: 32.2; Fiber: 19.6 grams; Protein: 29 grams
If the serving is too large, just divide into two portions and half the nutrition stats.
Okay, I’m off to the gym for Day 37 of LiveFit Trainer: Chest, Abs & Cardio. Should be a good one!
Later this afternoon, I’m meeting my high school friend, Meg, for a pedicure, followed by shopping and then dinner with my dad. I think we’re going to The Cheesecake Factory. I’m looking forward to trying a few items from their Skinnylicious menu! Hungry Girl recommends the Ahi Cappraccio, which I sounds pretty fantastic.
***Questions for you***
Which healthy living food blog trends have you tried and loved most? Which are you not so wild about?
Since I began blogging, I’ve fallen hard for microwave protein mug cakes, flourless peanut butter cookies and coconut flour pancakes. I never really caught onto the yogurt-oatmeal craze though!
What’s your favorite healthy menu option at restaurants? Do you have any Cheesecake Factory recommendations?
I rarely eat at chain restaurants, so I’m kind of excited to go to the Cheesecake Factory! I haven’t been since my sophomore year of college!