A little bit of everything called life...

A little bit of everything called life....

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And the beat goes on....+ yummy green smoothie recipe

As you can probably tell, the blogging has taken a back seat lately. I have not been cooking up a storm and I don't have any new recipes to share.  I have probably eaten out more than I like lately but hey sometimes that is life :)   Since my daughter started high school in August, it has been a whirlwind of a schedule! I must say she is doing great and she has had no choice but to stay organized so I am not complaining! She is in the school marching band and let me tell you it is a busy time! Anyone who thinks band is for the faint of heart, let me just say they are sadly mistaken! I have learned so much in this journey with my daughter. For one thing, she really loves it! There is a sense of comradery that is created. It teaches the kiddos discipline and structure and I am all for that!  I savor every minute and just tell myself that one day the house will be quiet and I will have more time than I know what to do!

With this crazy band life, has come an opportunity for me as an individual.   I have been involved in coordinating one of the bands biggest fundraisers, Kingdom of the Sun Marching Band Festival.  This is my first year and pretty much my first time for taking on anything of this size. We are talking about 22 bands and 2000 kids competing at our school!  Very exciting, yet challenging! In an effort to keep this event going, we really need to show a profit for all our hard work and time spent.  If I am not at a band competition or football game on the weekends, then I am lighting up the phones and approaching local businesses requesting donations anywhere from goods and services to monetary donations. My philosophy is always ask for everything I need and want, and the worse they can say is no. I have found many, if not most, people to be so generous and accomodating in our endeavor! Money is tough to come by just for basic educational needs let alone funds for the arts such as band.  I enjoy doing what I do and if it gets us what we need for the band then I am ecstatic! Does it take a lot of time? YES. Does it require lots of follow up? YES. Is it worth it? YES. I think so! Every little bit helps the kids and the teachers as well as our ultimate goal, to raise funds for the band!
 So with that said, here is a recipe for a great energy boosting, ON THE GO, smoothie.  I came across this on pinterest so I decided to give it a try. I made the smoothie then I froze it in silicone push pops (kind of like the gogurt packaging) and had it with me during the band competitions.  You can enjoy this frozen in pops or just as a great energy drink for breakfast or any time of day!

Below is the link to check out the push pop molds if you are interested!


  Green Smoothie
2 handfuls spinach
1 apple
1 banana (I used frozen)
                      1 c. greek yogurt (or any of your choice)
                      5 strawberries (I used frozen but fresh is even better)
                      1/2 of a naval orange
Blend till smooth and enjoy! Ice is optional, if you use ice, I would use about a cup.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

GaGa for Guava!

During my trip to the farmer's market on Friday, I came across something exotic! Guava! We get these in Puerto Rico a dime a dozen but I was so happy to see them at my local market! Tonight I prepared my kiddos a delicious treat for their Monday morning. My kids are big fans of guava and enjoy it during our trips to Puerto Rico when we visit family.  If you come across guavas at your local store, don't hesitate to give them a try! They are full of flavor and not to mention high in vitamins, A,B,C and beta carotene! Here is the recipe I used in my vitamix. You can use a juicer or a blender as well.

                     GUAVA-BERRY JUICE

                      1 guava cut in half
                      8 frozen strawberries (you can use fresh)
                      1 prickly pear cut in half (feel free to exclude if you don't have on hand)
                      1 handful of kale


       Place all ingredients in the vitamix or blender and blend until smooth liquid. Add ice to avoid overheating if necessary. I use all the peels and seeds! The vitamix is a great machine to process it.  If you are using a juicer with a speed selector, juice the fruit on a 2 or 3.  You can juice the kale at the same time as the guava or prickly pear. "Sandwich" the kale in between the 2 halves of the pear or guava to extract the most juice.  The softer the fruit, the lower the speed. Save the pulp and use it in popsicles later on or in a smoothie recipe!

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Bountiful Year

Deliciously Organic, one of my fave blogs to follow, posted this today and I thought I would pass it along! It is a wonderful graph that shows what fruits and vegetables are in season throughout the year! Keep it with your juicer or in your fave cookbook to have it handy!

The Bountiful Year- the seasons for fruits and veggies

Sunday, September 9, 2012

No bake oat bars

In preparation for the week and healthy eating, I decided to make this recipe. I changed a few things and I did not roll them into balls like the recipe says. Instead I decided to make them into a chewy, no baking required, granola bar.  I have listed the actual recipe along with my modifications.  They are so delicious, easy to make and healthy when you crave a chewy, chocolatey delight!

1 c old fashioned oats
2/3 c toasted coconut flakes (I used this unsweetened, organic coconut by Now real foods)
                                      Ocala peeps can get this product at Vitalize Nutrition Company

1/2 c peanut butter ( I used PB2- 6 tbsp pb2 and 3 tbsp water, you need it to bind all the ingredients so you may have to add more pb2 to get the right consistency. It will depend on size of oats used etc.) Vitalize Nutrition Company carries this too.  If you don't know about PB2 you should check it out. It is about 85 % less fat than peanut butter and tastes awesome!

1/2 c ground flaxseed or wheat germ (I used flaxseed)
1/2 c chocolate chips (optional) I used a 1/4 c raw cacao nibs and a 1/4 c chocolate chips
1/3 c honey (I used a gallberry honey that I bought local)
1 tsp vanilla

Stir all ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. I used a pampered chef bar pan and spread the mixture onto the pan then put it in the fridge for about an hour. Once chilled, I cut the mixture into bars and put the bars in a container back in the fridge to be stored.  Another option is to chill the mixture for a half hour or so and then roll the mixture into the size of a truffle and store in the fridge.

Have fun with this recipe and make it your own. You can substitute dried fruit for the chocolate chips. You can use any kind of nut butter you wish (almond, sunflower etc).  Agave nectar may not be a good sub for the honey since it is not as thick.

Pancakes and Pajamas

Rainy weather calls for a day at home in the kitchen! And of course wearing my pajamas! I don't have many days like this but I do love them every once and a while. Pretty much the whole family had pajamas on all day! It was a busy weekend with the kiddos so today was a gift!  My husband and I baked some gluten free bread and gf pizza crust for me to keep in the freezer. My kiddos wanted french toast so I used a french bread and whipped up a crispy, buttery breakfast. Let's not forget the pancakes I made for myself for breakfast!  I did not want to eat the regular bread so I whipped up a modified version of this healthy recipe.  Remember: make extra (or save any leftover pancakes) so you can freeze them and have them handy in the morning!  Pop them in the toaster and enjoy!

(Adapted from the biggest loser pancake recipe)

 6 egg whites- (I used one egg and 1 tbsp flaxseed with 3 tbsp water)
 1 cup rolled oats, dry
 1 cup cottage cheese (I left this out, you can use greek yogurt too)
 2 teaspoons sugar (I used date paste instead)
 1 teaspoon cinnamon
 1 teaspoon vanilla


In a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. For each pancake pour 1/4 cup of batter onto griddle. Flip when they start to bubble. Cook until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batches, spraying the griddle as needed. Makes about 10 pancakes.

Number of Servings: 3

Nutritional Info Per Serving:
 181 Calories, 2.7g Fat, 10mg Cholesterol, 361mg Sodium, 20g Carbs, 2.8g Fiber

Monday, September 3, 2012

Ch ch ch Chia seeds and Chocolate Banana Bread

UPDATE!  This recipe turned out delicious! I listed the substitutions I used!

Hope everyone is having a happy labor day! Today I am in the kitchen experimenting with Chia seeds as an egg replacement! Chia seeds are a powerful food loaded with Omegas 3's, protein and calcium. When 1 tbsp of chia is mixed with 3 tbsps. of water, it makes an egg substitute. Chocolate banana bread is on the list today! I will post all the substitutions I used in a bit!

Double Chocolate Banana Bread
submitted by Melanie
Recipe adapted from Cooking Pleasures
1 cup sugar  ( you can use 1/2 c unsweetened coconut and 1/2 c blonde coconut sugar)
2 eggs ( you can use 1 egg and 1tbsp chia with 3 tbsp water, let sit 15 mins then use as an egg)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (1/3 c applesauce or 1/3 c greek yogurt)
1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour  (I used rice flour that I made in the vitamix)
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (I omitted these in the batch I made)
1. Heat oven to 350. Spray bottom of 8×4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
2. Beat sugar, eggs, and oil (or substitutions)  in large bowl at medium speed until combined. Beat in banana and vanilla at low speed. Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; beat into banana mixture at low speed just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
3 Spoon batter into pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.

Chocolate banana bread

Friday, August 31, 2012

Real food? what's that?

This is from a blog I love called 100 days of real food! This girl is great and she really seems to live by the real food rule. Just a great article to define what we should be eating! Let me know what you think!

Real food defined