Month: January 2015

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

 

cauliflower buffalo bites 1 Guys!

The Super Bowl is this Sunday! Did it sneak up on you like it snuck up on me? Okay, confession time. I look forward to the Super Bowl every year. I enjoy watching the game and having friends over, but I’m not really all about the game. (I don’t even know who’s playing this year). I am, however, all about the snacks! Is anyone surprised? I had made these cauliflower buffalo bites in December on a whim and thought, “Omg, these would be perfect for the Super Bowl, but how do I keep them under wraps until then? February is soooo far away.” I don’t like keeping things from my friends :/

Aaand, *poof* it’s February. Ironically I was about to share a different recipe today that also features cauliflower as the main ingredient and now I’m going to have to keep that one under wraps. At least I only need to wait until next week to share that recipe. And guys and gals, it may be the best recipe I’ve ever come up with. I’m serious.

Cauliflower is having a huge moment right now and I’m totally buying into it. It’s just so crazy versatile. Cauliflower’s neutral flavor makes it a perfect substitute for creamy, starchy things. You can’t exactly hide broccoli in mashed potatoes the way you can cauliflower.

Did you know that cauliflower is in the same family as kale, broccoli and collards? Obviously, vegetables=healthy things, but I was curious just how healthy cauliflower is and, whoa!

In a one cup serving:

29 calories

5 g carbs, 2 g fiber and 2 g protein

77% vitamin C

High in antioxidants

Anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, cancer-preventing

These cute little florets pack a serious nutritional punch!

cauliflower buffalo bites

cauliflower buffalo bites 4So these buffalo bites. So addictingly crunchy and full of flavor. I’m not going to tell you to forgo the wings (let’s be realistic here), but starting with these bites is a sneaky way to get your veggies in, and after all the buffalo-flavored goodness and cool blue cheese yogurt sauce, you may just be so satisfied you only reach for 2 or 3 wings over the course of the game.

That’s my secret to not over-indulging. I eat the veggies and other healthy goodies first and then allow myself one or two of the indulgent stuff guilt-free. I’m usually full by then so I don’t want more than that.

Make these, set them out with the other Super Bowl snacks and then come back here and let me know how they went over. Pawn them off as your own idea. You’ll definitely get points for creativity.

Cauliflower buffalo bites 2

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Makes 6-8 portions

Adapted from Craftsy.com

1 medium head of cauliflower

1 cup rice flour

1 cup corn flour

1/2 cup milk of choice (I used hemp)

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2/3 cup buffalo style hot sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons melted butter

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce:

1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt

3 tbsp crumbled blue cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon chopped dill

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet  with parchment paper.

Wash and trim cauliflower into bite-size florets. Whisk the rice flour, corn flour, milk, water, paprika, salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl until thoroughly combined. Coat each cauliflower floret with a thin layer of batter and evenly space on the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, flipping half way through.

While baking, stir together the buffalo sauce and melted butter in a bowl. Remove cauliflower from the oven. Generously brush the top of each floret with the buffalo mixture. Place back in the oven for 15-17 minutes until golden and crunchy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before digging in.

To make the blue cheese sauce:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until reaching your desired texture. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

cauliflower buffalo bites 3Can someone tell me who is playing, please?
 
 
Are you all on the cauliflower bandwagon?
If you’re hosting a Super Bowl party, what kind of yummy snacks are you planning to serve?

 

With so much love,
Sam

Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet Cake (Happy Birthday to Me!)

chocolate chip cookie skillet cake 6Hey there good lookin,

Oh, I was talking to you, but, yea I could totally see why you would think I was talking to that insanely delicious cake thing.

There’s a good reason for that dreaminess up there,….besides there always being good reason for chocolate chips and ice cream.

It’s my birthdaaaaay!

And in honor of my b-day I baked you a cake. Wait, no, I made you a cookie. Okay, SURPRISE! I made you both!

I love my birthday. It’s a perfect excuse to do whatever the hell I want, and, lucky for you, whatever the hell I want included making a, ready for it?…chocolate chip cookie skillet cake!

chocolate chip cookie skillet cake 3Alright, so I really made it for ME, but you should totally make it too. I wish I could convey to you how ridiculously delicious this cake is, but words just aren’t going to cut it. You really just need to experience the warm, chocolatey, cookie doughness for yourself…Okay, I attempted to describe it a little. I think I did pretty well :)

And, AND would you believe me if I told you this cake is healthy!?

IT’S HEALTHY!

You are going to have to trust me when I say that pureed chickpeas have the ability to taste freakishly like raw cookie dough. It’s true. I wouldn’t lie to you on my birthday.

Chocolate chip cookie skillet cake 2…or any day.

chocolate chip cookie skillet cake 1

The garbanzo beans create a rich fudgy texture and the oat flour happens to make the cake gluten-free. I use a lot less sugar than other recipes call for, but I use coconut sugar and maple syrup which both have a toasty, caramel flavor so you don’t really need too much sweetness. Plus the chocolate chips add a hit of chocolatey goodness. And chocolate=antioxidants. See, healthy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet Cake

Makes 8 slices
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
 
2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed)
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup almond butter
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup chocolate chips
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch cast-iron skillet, a pie dish or any other oven-safe 10 inch pan with coconut oil. Blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a food processor or high speed blender.
 
*Note: I use a vitamix which is a super high powered blender. If you don’t have a vitamix, a blendtec or something similar I would suggest using a food processor.
 
Mix in chocolate chips and spoon batter into the skillet. Bake for 35-40 min. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into 8 slices. Serve with your favorite non-dairy ice cream.
 
Chocolate chip cookie skillet cake
…because I love you.
 
 
What do you like to do on your birthday?
Besides baking, I treated my hair to some highlights and went out for dinner with the chef. There may also have been a few glasses of wine involved ;D
 
Have you ever baked sweet treats with beans before?
Any other adventurous ingredients you like to bake with?
I’ve got many more up my sleeves 😉
Stay tuned!
 
xoxo,
Sam
 
 

Comparison’s a Bitch-How to Put Her in Her Place

Comparison is an act of violence against the self ~Iyanla Vanzant

Comparison is a nasty little bitch. Once she sees the fear in your eyes, she knows she’s got you and she curls her lips up in a ruthless smile. Comparison fights dirty. She sneaks up behind you and clutches your hands behind your back so it’s impossible to do your work, injecting needles full of self-doubt straight into your veins, quicker than heroine and just as deadly. She snarkily whispers heady sentiments of how easy it would be to just give up. You’re wasting your time. So many others are doing it better than you. You don’t have what it takes, over and over again until all you can hear is the dull roar of her incessant voice.

She doesn’t stop there. Comparison feeds on inspiration, your inspiration. She sucks dry your creativity and is still famished after all she has taken. You know comparison has got you when a deep impenetrable cold freezes you to your spot. If you make any move at all, it may be the wrong one and you will crack into a million tiny shards too small to fit back together.

Just when you think she’s had her way with you and there can’t possibly be any more, with her icy long fingers she plants something small in your heart- a seed of fear, and if tended to and cared for, as it grows it will feed on the nourishment of your heart and leave a hollow shell where hope and spirit once dwelled.

There is only one way to kill comparison-cut off her source of sustenance. Put your head down and push away everything that feeds her. She’s not going to be happy. She will rage against you and reveal her wretched truth. She can’t survive without you. If you ignore her, she ceases to exist. If you commit to your purpose no matter what, she loses her hold on you. Her fingers become too weak to bind your hands.

Stay on your path and don’t look left or right. Comparison is lurking behind every tree and she wants you to notice her. The beginning of your path can’t be compared to the middle of another’s. This simple truth will keep her at bay.

And if you really want to get rid of her for good, take a look at the early work of someone you admire. Whether it be art or business, sports or an empire, everyone begins at the beginning. SAMSUNGGo back to your hero’s first unsteady steps and take comfort in realizing that we all start off on our journey uncertain of the way.

You can see only your hero’s back because he is ahead of you on the path, but you can bet he met comparison just where you are meeting her now. If you keep on you will catch up and you will leave her behind. Up close she is a seductress, a tempting destroyer of potential, but every move you make towards your purpose puts miles between she and you. The further away from her you get, the clearer you will see that she is just fear in a clever disguise. Fear will take many forms if you chose this journey. Comparison is only one of them. If you meet her, smile because you are on the right path. You only have to walk right by her and keep on going.

 

…A bit heady, but I hope you understand. Comparison gets all of us at one point or another. Two surefire ways to rid yourself of comparison are to stop looking at whatever is making you feel inadequate, and to look instead at the early work of someone you admire. This keeps me going every time I feel comparison creeping up on me. Give it a try and let me know in the comments below if you have any tools you use to keep the bitch in her place 😉

*Update:

  • I just discovered a super cool website that archives websites and their changes over the years, so you can literally go back and see how your favorite bloggers, business owners or companies started out! A lot of those early sites are pretty jenky!
  • And one of my personal favorites is going to your favorite role model’s youtube channel and changing the search to “oldest to newest” and checking out their first videos. More often then not, they are nowhere near as polished and professional as they are now.

I’ll be back next week with a light and fluffy post (It’s my birthday and I have a recipe for you!)

 

With so much love,

Sam

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Number One Tip to Strengthen Your Financial Health

Hey there friends,

It’s officially one week since 2015 began and, so far it’s been a fantastic year ;D I’ve had two whole days off with the chef. He usually only has one day off and he surprised me Sunday night by telling me he had Monday off too! I also had an interview with Equinox. They are super speedy over there! I sent my resume Tuesday, they responded Wednesday and I had an interview Friday! There are a few more hoops to jump through before I officially become a trainer so fingers crossed!

And on Monday I had a lovely Starbucks date with one of my very close friends, Nicole.

starbucks coffeeStarbucks, you so faaancy!

One of my commitments this year is to spend more time with my friends, We all live a bit away from each other and we’re all so busy. Time flies and suddenly it’s been months since I’ve seen any of them :/

So on our date, Nicole and I got to talking for a very long time about money. It’s a subject I am very passionate about, but I never realized I have so much to say about it.

Financial health is just as important as physical health. If you don’t have a plan or just flat out avoid it, you are never going to build financial strength. It’s like working out. You aren’t going to wake up one day and suddenly be able to do ten push-ups. You have to work up to it and you have to do the daily work to get there. You are not going to wake up one day with no debt and have the funds to buy a house or whatever else is on your dream list.

I spend a lot of time researching, reading and learning about finances for my own personal benefit. I think it’s fun :) (This is where you judge me as crazy.) That’s okay, because my research is going to benefit you. I don’t know everything about money and I won’t pretend to. What I have learned however, I will share with you here. Heck, I’ll even share my mistakes in the hopes that I can help you avoid them.

One of the first and absolute best things I did was to put everything having to do with my finances in one place. I was tired of jumping from my student loan website to my credit card website to my checking account website. I asked myself, “Is there a place I can go to see all of this information in one place?” Turns out, there is!

Mint.com is a free and secure website where you can manage all of your finances from one place. (Just to be clear, this isn’t an endorsement. I just really love this service!)

Once you add your accounts to Mint, you can see it all on the Overview page. I use it for my checking, savings, investments, student loans and credit cards. You can set budgets and personal goals. You can even track your income and your spending and see exactly where your money is going each month/year/or day if you want to.

Mint Overview

screenshot via

Mint will alert you to upcoming bills and even suspicious activity. I had some fraudulent charges on my debit card about 6 months ago that I caught in less than 2 hours thanks to Mint.

They have even added a new feature so you can learn your credit score for free!

I feel much more in control of my money thanks to this site. I have personal goals I am saving for and I am paying off my student loan faster than I ever would have. Mint shows you how much you lose to interest the longer you take to pay loans off. That really lit a fire under my butt!

I can’t say enough good things about Mint.com. It’s so simple to use, it’s given me a crystal clear view of all of my finances and a solid game plan for saving for my future.

Finances, savings and debt may not sound like the sexiest subjects, but strong finances are just as sexy as a strong body. When you can confidently say that you are in good financial shape you really do walk around a little bit taller.

So get that sexy butt over to Mint.com, check it out and see if it’s for you.

 

Any personal goals you are committing to in 2015?

Any other tools you use to manage your finances that work great for you?

Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great rest of your week!

Sam