Some Random Spring Break Adventures!

Hey everyone!

So last Friday there was an unexpected & decent sized snowstorm to cause me to have a snow day! Woo! Oh how I love New England! Instead, I thought I would fill you in on what my spring break has been like. Oh and a seedling update from a visit to my internship today!

My weekend started with a house warming party Saturday night for a friend I haven’t seen in ages so it was great to see her again and meet some new people. 🙂 For the house warming party I made a COOKIE DOUGH DIP which was a big hit…. The best part is that people had no idea it had CHICKPEAS in it! I also made infused vodka with pineapple, cantaloupe, clementines, and a few strawberries. It was delicious mixed with orange juice. If you’re interested in the cookie dough dip head over to http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/05/23/want-to-eat-an-entire-bowl-of-cookie-dough/. You can google vodka infusions for hundreds of recipes if that is your fancy too. (But in the US only if you are at least 21 y.o.)

A picture of my friend and I reunited after months of not seeing her! Yay!

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Now onto some cooking adventures! This past week I made a roasted vegetable pureed soup. It was absolute heaven in my eyes, so warm, creamy smooth, and rich without even a drop of cream added. Oh how I love blended soups. I’m pretty sure I roasted everything but the kitchen sink and then popped them in the oven until they got nice and golden&tender. Here’s a picture of everything that went into the soup!

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I roasted a head of cauliflower, ~1 cup broccoli, a few asparagus, pearl onions, sweet peppers, carrots, 5-6 garlic cloves, and used an already cooked sweet potato. The roasted veggies all had a drizzle of olive oil on them as well. Super easy, so healthy, and very filling! After the veggies were roasted I tossed them in the blender and added a quart of chicken broth. A minute later, the soup was done! I wish I remembered to take a picture, it resembled a butternut squash color from all of the carrots and sweet peppers. So pretty.

Next on the agenda this week was a trip to my favorite cafe in Salem called Gulu Gulu. The staff is awesome and it’s just a really unique place to hangout. It is also a great people watching cafe. I love going with one of my friends to get lunch along with their new dessert….wait for it…chocolate fondue! It wasn’t an excessive amount and perfect for 2 to split. You probably had about 2-3 tablespoons of fondue for each person. It was served with apples, strawberries, bananas, and a few graham crackers. Again, delicious! Image

Today I stopped by my internship site for a little bit to touch base with my preceptor. While I was there I also checked out my babies.(Yup, I just referred to the seedlings as my babies) They are already sprouting and doing well. ImageImage

The seed disks seem to be doing the best due to having so many seeds in an area, but even some of the lettuces are sprouting right up! I love gardening and feeling the satisfaction of making something grow. I do have to say that this is my first experience with starting from seed. So it will definitely be interesting to see what happens.

Well, on that note I’m ending this post with a picture I found via pinterest and believe to be so true, near, and dear to my heart.

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Happy Early St.Patrick’s Day!

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Sunflower Seed Butter Mishaps and Dreamy Berry Smoothies!

Hey!

Before I get to the mishap of my day yesterday involving homemade sunflower seed butter, lets talk about my awesome day on Friday! So on Friday I had my internship at Marblehead Charter School where I got to feel like a kid again and play in the dirt. In other words, I had to plant seeds to be started under the grow lights. There is something therapeutic about gardening. I planted all kinds of herbs and lettuces that my preceptor hopes to be able to just pick from when ever she needs them for a recipe or the salad bar. I wish I remembered to take a picture of them. Maybe I will next week and they may just be sprouting up by then?

Later in the day I helped with a cooking class where the kids made French Toast Wraps filled with fruit and yogurt. They were a big hit! It was really funny to hear the kids be like, “I like yogurt but I don’t think I’ll like this with yogurt in a wrap with fruit.” and then after they tried it they are all “Oh my gosh these are so good!” Kids are too funny when it comes to food. You never know what their reaction will be. Oh, we also made smoothies with the left over fruit and yogurt and added some kale! A few said they could “taste” the kale while others said they didn’t know what kale tasted like so they wouldn’t have even known it was in there. They all liked the smoothies too, regardless of kale being in there!  (French Toast Wrap idea found on http://www.preventionrd.com/2013/02/fruit-filled-french-toast-wraps/ incase you’re interested!)

Now onto my mishap. Yesterday I was all excited to make my own sunflower seed butter with my new Vitamix blender. So I began by adding the sunflower seeds, a dash of cinnamon, and a dash of salt. Well, things started great…until I decided the tamper needed to be used to help out the sunflower powder on the side of the container. Bad choice!… The tamper was too big for the container. EEK! Two seconds later and POOF! There is no longer a bottom covering on the tamper and little pieces of black plastic were running through my sunflower seeds…Oh no! Whoops!  But I saved the day and dumped the container of sunflower seeds out and started all over :(. I added a bit of canola oil to the seeds the second time around and that made it come together very nicely. Not to mention using the end of a wooden spoon to push down the seed powder that climbs the side of the container (With the machine STOPPED). The results were so worth the trouble though, there is nothing better than homemade seed butter straight from the mixer eaten by the spoonful! 🙂

 This morning I made myself a delicious berry smoothie! Such a healthy breakfast to start my day. It is high in protein, fiber, and full of vitamins and minerals!

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I used a 6oz container of pomegranate Chobani Greek yogurt, about a cup of 1% milk, about a cup of frozen mixed berries, about 2 tablespoons homemade sun butter, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, about half a tablespoon flax seeds, a dash of cinnamon, a few ice cubes, and about a cup of water. It was delicious, satisfying, and filling!

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I recycled my old sunflower seed butter container to store my new homemade batch for pure convenience.

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(The picture above is before I added the cup of water to the smoothie, when I was done it equaled about 22oz or a medium sized Dunkin Donuts iced coffee cup)

This recipe is definitely not a “snack” sized smoothie and could be considered a meal with the nutrition facts coming in at  553 kcalories, 30g protein, 24g total fat [4g saturated fat, ~4g mono unsaturated fat(increases HDL cholesterol levels), ~15g polyunsaturated fat(helps lower LDL cholesterol levels)], 7g fiber, and 429mg sodium.

My weekend consisted of a trip to Trader Joe’s, reading a book called “The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” for my Clinical Dietetics class, answering essay questions for said book, and a case study for Medical Nutrition Therapy about someone who had an MI (aka. heart attack). So exciting I know, ohhh the life of a student. But I love it!  🙂 Have a great week!

Question: What are some of your favorite smoothies?