Blog Trends and Dessert for Breakfast

by Sara on March 13, 2012

Hello from Boise, Idaho!

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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. ;)

Heh.

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. :)

fresh cracked pepper added the perfect zing :)

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! :)

DESSERT

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.

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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.

I topped my muffin top with melted peanut butter. Cravings, gone. :-D

As for the chia pudding?

Well, I enjoyed it this morning.

Who says you can’t eat dessert for breakfast?

The verdict? I loved it! The texture reminds me of tapioca pudding. :)

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. :-D

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!

 

 

  • Lauren Paradis

    OMG This breakfast looks AMAZING.

    I am complenmenting which protein powder to buy next.. it seems I can’t get myself to like any vegan ones so far. I have yet to try sunwarrior but not sure I will like it.

    In your opnion and experience do you suspect vegan protein powder to be any healthier..

    I have been liking smoothies in the morning and like to put protein powder in them and want to make the healthiest choice when picking protein.

    But Tera’s Whey is the one I seem to like the best!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I think Sunwarrior is definitely the best vegan protein powder…It tastes pretty good and mixes easily. However, I actually prefer whey, partly because it’s a higher quality protein, and it’s been shown to better aid in muscle recovery. :) Tera’s Whey is awesome! I LOVE the dark chocolate flavor, but they’re all good!

  • http://glitzglamgranola.com/ Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola

    Aw watching the Bachelor with your Mom sounds great– I actually did the same thing last night too :) I too didn’t think the proposal was very romantic but partially because I really dislike Courtney- I think Lindzi was a great girl and I hope she finds someone! And isn’t it funny how trends sweep through the blog world and suddenly everyone is eating them? I’ve found myself loving sweet potatoes, something I never ate before and I love smoothie bowls with lots of spinach! And it sounds like you have a great day planned at home! I haven’t been to Cheesecake in a while myself but the Skinnylicious menu sounds great!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I like Lindzi too! I hope she’s the next Bachelorette (after Emily)!!

  • Julie

    Oh my, those chocolate chia muffin tops look DELICIOUS!! Are the stats similar to Vitatops? I’m going to look for them this week!

    Cobb salads are one of my favorites, but you’re right–they’re not usually the healthiest option. Yours looks even better than what you usually get in a restaurant though! And I need to try that chia pudding recipe! Holy fiber! :-p

    My favorite healthy blog trends are egg white oats and protein pancakes!

  • http://www.clairetherd.com/ Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    I’m not sold on chia pudding yet, but that recipe looks like it’s worth trying! I really like the beet/goat cheese salad at Cheesecake!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I was so weary about trying the chia pudding, but once I got over the semi-slimy texture, I really enjoyed it! The beet/goat cheese salad sounds AWESOME. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • http://www.clairetherd.com/ Claire @ Live and Love to Eat

    I’m not sold on chia pudding yet, but that recipe looks like it’s worth trying! I really like the beet/goat cheese salad at Cheesecake!

  • http://healthifulbalance.blogspot.com/ Shannon (Healthiful Balance)

    Yay, I’m so glad you had a nice time with your mom! :) Spending time with family is always so fun!
    Dessert for breakfast? WHY NOT?? :) Your eats always look super delicious! I need to hunt down some chia seeds so I can re-create your breakfast. :)

    I tried the egg, cheese and jam combo because I kept seeing it on blogs allll the time. It is one awesome combo and a new favorite of mine!! :D

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Ahh, I still need to try egg, cheese and jam! Maybe that will be tomorrow’s breakfast!

  • http://healthifulbalance.blogspot.com/ Shannon (Healthiful Balance)

    Yay, I’m so glad you had a nice time with your mom! :) Spending time with family is always so fun!
    Dessert for breakfast? WHY NOT?? :) Your eats always look super delicious! I need to hunt down some chia seeds so I can re-create your breakfast. :)

    I tried the egg, cheese and jam combo because I kept seeing it on blogs allll the time. It is one awesome combo and a new favorite of mine!! :D

  • http://www.stuftmama.com/ STUFTmama

    I love chia pudding! So glad you tried it! The addition of PB2 and protein powder is fantastic! I’m going to try it. :)

    LOVE ranch dressing too. So good. My favorite blog-inspired eats are sweet potatoes, almond butter and coconut flour anything!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I still haven’t tried almond butter ON a sweet potato! That’s another trend I need to tackle. :)

  • http://www.myfoodnfitnessdiaries.com/ Ash@MyFNFDiaries

    i just recently made my own version of a cobb salad for my husband and me, and we both loved it. that says a lot coming from my husband too since he’s not much of a salad guy. ;)
    i haven’t tried chia seeds yet, mostly just because i still have a bunch of ground flax i’m trying to use up. i plan to try it out though… there’s a lot of recipes i’ve been wanting to try that use chia! as for other healthy living blog food trends, i do love overnights oats and OIAJ! i had never heard of it before i started reading healthy living blogs, and now it’s one of my favorites.
    cheesecake factory has a new light menu that has a ton of great options. i like their veggie burger, their salmon, and a lot of their salads are great. i hope you enjoy it!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Can you believe I haven’t tried OIAJ either? Yet another one to add to the list! :) Thanks for the Cheesecake recommendations! I actually learned about the Skinnylicious menu after reading your birthday post, and have been excited to go ever since! xoxo

  • http://www.myfoodnfitnessdiaries.com/ Ash@MyFNFDiaries

    i just recently made my own version of a cobb salad for my husband and me, and we both loved it. that says a lot coming from my husband too since he’s not much of a salad guy. ;)
    i haven’t tried chia seeds yet, mostly just because i still have a bunch of ground flax i’m trying to use up. i plan to try it out though… there’s a lot of recipes i’ve been wanting to try that use chia! as for other healthy living blog food trends, i do love overnights oats and OIAJ! i had never heard of it before i started reading healthy living blogs, and now it’s one of my favorites.
    cheesecake factory has a new light menu that has a ton of great options. i like their veggie burger, their salmon, and a lot of their salads are great. i hope you enjoy it!

  • http://www.healthydivaeats.com/ Healthy Diva

    LOVE the salads! They looked so good! I am glad you and your mom had a wonderful night together!!

    Oh cheesecake factory is awesome! Their skinnylicious menu rocks!!!! The ahi is a good choice :)

    SO glad we got to talk yesterday! Love you!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I loved catching up with you yesterday too!! Our once-a-week phone chat idea is a good one…let’s make it happen! Oh, and the ahi was AMAZING! I already want to go back and get more! xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/AfterDin Caroline

    I love overnight oats, but I think I’m the only healthy living blogger who doesn’t like peanut butter! I watched The Bachelor at home last night with my Mom too :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I’ve never tried overnight oats! I’m just not into oats in general…I really want to be, especially because they’re so healthy, but every time I make them they’re just eh. Maybe adding mounds of Nutella is the answer?! ;)

  • Dashofmeg

    I WISH I WERE THE MEG YOU WERE MEETING UP WITH!!!!!!!!!!!

    Haha I love the looks of your salad sweetheart :) I am going to make it this week FOR SURE :D Looks wayyyyyyy too good to pass up!

    Beautiful pictures of you and your Mom <3 Thanks for sharing :D

    I love chia seeds and make a similar pudding :D Yum! xoxoxoxo

    Love u sis

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Ahh, I SO wish I was meeting up with too! I could have a double dose Meg date!! <3

      Let me know if you make a cobb salad! I was thinking it would be delish with salmon too! And thanks for for your sweet words about the photo! It's a year old, but it's one of my favorites. <3 xoxo

  • Gothextramileblog

    Aww you will have such a great time at home catching up with your mom!! I LOVE chia seeds! I’ve never made a pudding though, super cool. And omg udi’s makes those?!?! Need asap! I like a lot of the “trends”. I love OIAJ and overnight oats and more that I can’t think of right now haha. I do like pb2, but it’s honestly not my favorite. I’d rather have the real thing ;) Also sunflower butter, at first I HATED it, then it kind of grew on me, but again not my favorite.

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      The chocolate muffin tops are AMAZING! I hope you can find them! They’re even better than Vitatops!

      I’m with you on the PB2–it’s good, but real peanut butter is so much better! I’ve only tried sunflower butter once or twice…I liked it, but I guess not enough to make me go back for more! Maybe it’s an acquired taste? The more you eat it, the more you like it? <3

  • http://www.perfectionisnthappy.com/ Emily @ Perfection Isn’t Happy

    I like putting chia seeds in my oatmeal. I did that a lot last summer, but I haven’t in a long time! That muffin top looks good, I’m going to have to try those!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I love the idea of adding chia to oatmeal! I’ve never really loved oats, but maybe this is the secret. :-) Oh, and definitely look for the muffin tops–they’re uh-maazing!

  • Sally

    Thanks for sharing a bite of your chia pudding. I agree…a bit like tapioca! I’m so happy you’re home! :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I’m so glad I’m home too! xoxo <3

  • http://annasadventuresinhealth.com/ Anna

    Oh that puddings looks awesome…I’ve got some chia calling my name….I’m also craving some Cobb Salad now too! :)

    I like the trend for healthy fats, weight lifting,…I have yet to try coconut flour or almond meal!

  • Thehealthyapron

    I have definitely been introduced to ALOT Of blogger trends that I ended up enjoying. Chia seeds IS one of them! I never thought to include them before and now they seem to be all the hype! Love them!

  • http://sweatlikeapig.com/ Tara @ Sweat like a Pig

    I never follow any blog trends…I just eat my chicken and vegetables, and boring plain oatmeal. Ha! That muffin top looks amazing! Can I come over for dinner at your house?? Haha <3

  • http://www.LagrangeMedical.com/ Immediate Care Lyons IL

    Well now I am going to feel bad if I finish the whole Chocolate PB Chia Pudding. Divide it into two servings. What is wrong with saving it for later. Sharing is for the weak. Just kidding, sounds great and will absolutely be making this very soon.

  • http://lifeisbetterthanfiction.wordpress.com/ Meg

    Yum, such a tasty cobb salad… I might have to have one of those tomorrow. I don’t care how many bloggers post them, I am NOT a fan of brussels sprouts. Or roasted broccoli.

    I’ve finally started eating protein oatmeal! I eat it pretty much every morning so I don’t get stupid halfway through my workout. ;) I really want to try chia pudding, I think I would like it.

    Always glad to have you back! Sorry about we had to reschedule– but I’m glad to see you tomorrow!

  • Soo {LMF}

    My mouth is watering over that cobb salad! Looks so yummy…

    Gosh, I feel like I always see interesting healthy options at chain restaurants, but since I’m “treating myself” I usually don’t pick them! Opps…is that bad? Hope you had a fabulous time in Boise!! :)

  • Alec

    If you got any of those chia seeds left over sis, bring ‘em back to DC! I wanna try! ;)

  • http://swankydietitian.com/ Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian

    Yes, I agree about the Bachelor! So wasn’t romantic. I used to watch Bachelor back in the day as well. At least Trista and Ryan made it.
    I know you probably already went to cheesecake factory, but I have to say that they have a salad that I like to order. I just hate that it’s under the “weight management” section. They really should reword it so it sounds more pleasant. But it really is delicious.

  • http://www.juliegolean.com/ julie

    LOVE that chia breakfast!!!!!!!!!!!! making it asaP! haha i’m so obsessed with chia seeds lately i just can’t get enough. and love you and your moms MYOCS night! so cute :)

    the finale of the bachelor SUCKED the big one. it was so unromantic. and she was more infatuated with the ring then with the guy himself! wtf

  • http://www.the-new-healthy.com/ Stefanie @TheNewHealthy

    I love Meg! How cool that you guys are HS friends! :)

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