Sponsored by the Letter Zee

Good Evening Friends!  How goes this short week? 

OVER! Woo hoo!

I left you with a cliff hanger which means that I owe you a recipe.  I actually have a few as this post was sponsored by the letter Zee for Zucchini!  I had 3 zucchini’s hanging in the fridge and now that my oven is fixed, it was time to bake up a quick bread.  I stuck with the cookbook theme of Monday and whipped up this simple bread from Better Homes.

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It was super easy and low fuss!  Since it makes two loaves, I made one plain one and one with dark chocolate chunks. Dark chocolate makes everything better : )

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Even after two loaves of bread, I had some leftover shredded zucchini that I thought would be perfect to add to one of my favorite breakfasts, the quinoa cake.  I kept mine pretty plain and unsweetened, but you could definitely sweeten it up for a more decadent breakfast.

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The only thing I was missing that I wanted to add was walnuts.  Then it would be a zuchhini bread bake : )  Zucchini also made an appearance in my most recent smoothie from the Detoxinista book!

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It’s got cashews, banana, zucchini, cinnamon, and flax…filling and fantastic!

Other Recipes Sponsored by Zee(cchini)

Zucchini Pineapple Bread *Blogger FAVE!

Healthy New Year Soup

Coconut Ginger Zucchini Bread

Turkey and Vegetable Chili

Paleo Zucchini Almond Butter Muffins

Eggplant, Zucchini, and Tomato Tian

 

What is your favorite Zucchini recipe?  Link ‘em up!

Zucchini Bread

From Better Homes Baking

2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 2 1/2 cups finely shredded, unpeeled zucchini

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or dark chocolate chunks)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of 2 loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl stir together flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine egg, sugar, shredded zucchini, oil, and vanilla. Add zucchini mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts. Spoon batter into prepared pans.
  3. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

 

Zucchini Breakfast Quinoa

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup shredded zucchini
  • 2 tbsp flax (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (more to taste)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • Optional: sugar, stevia, banana, maple syrup, or your favorite sweetener!

Directions

Combine all ingredients in microwave safe bowl, sprayed with cooking spray.  Stir to combine. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Let cool slightly.  Remove from bowl and top with nut butter, fruit, or maple syrup.

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Not a Moment to Spare

I jammed so much into this past weekend that there wasn’t a moment to spare…like I haven’t even been to the grocery store and we have no food.  Now, to be fair, the weekend was really short!  I worked Saturday morning, which as always, was SUPER fun!

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We did a superhero theme for the littlest ones, which they loved. We were the Super Yogi’s spreading peace to everyone (plus fighting off some bad guys with punches…their idea and peace signs…my idea).  Then it was on to the seesaw hamstring stretch for my older group followed by some amazing acro yoga with the last crew.  After yoga, I raced home to eat a quick lunch and await the arrival of my family for our fun, family tennis date.

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It all started because my dad has been interested in getting back into tennis.  The BOY and I haven’t played since last summer and although we are rusty, we were exited to get back on the court this spring.  Since my brother was out visiting my parents, he tagged along too allowing us to play doubles.  We are all equally bad at tennis, but good enough to keep a game going.  We played for 2 hours, knowing we’d probably all be sore the next day, while my mom went for a walk and took pictures.

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From the tennis courts, we went to the last of the three stores where we are registering for pots, pans, and fingers crossed some gorgeous Le Creuset pieces.  On the way home, we swung by the Jewel to pick up dinner.  Saturday night, we BBQed and my brother came to hang out with us.

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I was up early Sunday morning because my mom came to get me for another trip to the salt spa.  We started with a stretch and meditation class.  Recently, I have been reading and listening to podcasts about meditation and was excited to give it a go.

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We followed that with 45 minutes in the salt cave…see our attempt at a salt cave selfie!  And then lunch and a little bit of shopping, where we of course picked up some Himalayan salt.

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I got back home just in time to have a quick snack and get myself organized for trip number 2 to Bed Bath and Beyond for more gun shooting fun.  I should admit that the BOY and I are NOT gun shy.  We register for a whole lot of everything, and then I have to come home and organize things online.

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Last night, we closed down the bed bath and beyond and were way too tired to do the planned upon grocery store shopping.  Instead, we swung by Chipotle and arrived back home around 8pm with enough time for me to fold a little laundry, tame our online registries, and cuddle with Cooper.  Prior to realizing how nuts the weekend was going to be, I had plans to bring ya’ll some recipes this weekend.  Instead, I prepared some Overnight Quinoa in a Jar (basically overnight oats with quinoa instead of oats) and crashed into bed.

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This morning, I started my week off early with a 6am hot yoga class. 

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#postyogaglow

When I got home, Cooper dove right into the fridge in search of my oats (he LOVES almond butter).

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And then tried to eat my breakfast before I could scarf it down.  Ugh!  Then I left the BOY and Cooper back home and headed off to work.  I am working Monday this week instead of Friday (hence the super short weekend and lack of food in our fridge).  The BOY ordered Thai for dinner tonight…which was his idea of cooking dinner : )  Luckily, there will be enough leftover for me to take for lunch tomorrow since I’m exhausted and heading to bed.

Looking forward to next weekend with (hopefully) a few extra moments to spare!

 

What did you pack into your weekend?

What do you do when you don’t go to the grocery store?

Monday Motivation and Meals

Good Day Monday!

I slept many, many hours last night and I think I could have slept longer if the BOY and Cooper weren’t so eager to cuddle : )  Breakfast is usually the toughest meal for me during Passover because I am used to toast and oats.  Luckily, the TJ’s finally opened near by and I scooped up some of their frozen quinoa with Passover in mind.  This morning, I revisited an old favorite breakfast…

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Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa

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After breakfast, I was off to the gym for an intense strength session (my poor arms are too sore to type…ha ha!) and then ran a few errands at the Costco and grocery store, plus dropping off 4 huge bags of clothes at the Goodwill after yesterday’s cleaning.

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Some Gym Motivation

Then I spent the rest of the afternoon doing paperwork and watching TV.  You know I love a day to catch up on Scandal and emails!  And snacking on some delicious cheese and nuts.  Now I am mostly just trying to stay up late enough to watch the Wisconsin game tonight.  The BOY and I are both dressed in our red Wisco shirts ready to cheer on the Big Ten.  I just hope I can stay up late enough to see the entire game!

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I didn’t really plan for as much baking/cooking as I thought this week but will rely on the BOY and his grill…hey, there are worse problems to have : )

Good Night!

 

Meal Planning 4/06/15

Monday: Grilled Chicken and Veggies (hooray the grill is back!)

Tuesday: Steak and Salmon Night

Wednesday: Burgers (sans buns)

Thursday: Matzah Pizza

 

What are you eating this week?

Day Light Savings Monday

One of the best things about the blog world is learning that I am not the only one who is struggling with the time change!  I slept until 9am on Monday morning (and was in bed by 10 last night) and I should confess that the BOY isn’t even awake yet (as of 10am).

 

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Sleeping Early Sunday Night

 

Cooper on the other hand seems to be adjusting just fine and was more annoyed than anything as he pounded his 11.2# body against our door this morning in request of breakfast, which eventually I provided.  To him and to myself…

I ate a quick breakfast of rye toast and an egg with spinach and then changed into these awesome new workout tights that I bought at the GAP yesterday.  I mean, yes they are awesome because they are bright and obnoxious, but even more so because they only cost me 5 dollars and some change.  I like the GAP workout clothes and I got two other adorable long sleeve shirts on major sale too!

 

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This morning’s workout was another tough one, but I think my arm muscles are starting to emerge.  Woo Hoo!

The rest of the afternoon was jam packed.  I met a friend and her little one for lunch and then raced back home for the BOY and my 3pm court time at the tennis gym.  It was great to try out my new racket and I learned that in tennis, like biking, the right (and possibly more expensive) equipment can help a beginner look better : )

 

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The BOY and I followed up tennis with our weekly grocery store run.  I swear I spend way more when he comes with me than when I go alone.  I had a plan, but apparently the BOY had a different plan for this week.  I had totally forgotten that it is his spring break, so I picked up some things that he could make for dinner while I was working.  When I got back home, I was starving!  I snacked on some cheese and crackers while unpacking our groceries and putting chili in the crockpot for this week’s lunch.

 

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I cheated a little bit and bought pre cut sweet potato, and it made this recipe come together really quickly!  We had the most beautiful day today, finally, and so I almost didn’t want to make chili.  I eat chili all year long, but just like everyone else, I am craving some warm weather and spring foods! 

 

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That being said, I like having a healthy and tasty lunch and knew that this would do the trick.  While my chili simmered in the crockpot, the BOY made an awesome dinner tonight.

 

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We had our first taste of spring today and with the time change, there will be more sunshine ahead (I hope!)

 

Did you have trouble adjusting to the time change?

 

Meal Planning 3/10/14

Monday: Shrimp and Pasta

 

Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken Pesto

 

Wednesday: Salmon (for me) and Lamb Chops (for the BOY) + Veggies

 

Thursday: Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli

 

Lunch: Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

 

 

Crockpot Sweet Potato and Quinoa Chili

From Iowa Girl Eats

 

Ingredients:
1lb ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chicken broth
28oz can crushed tomatoes
15oz can beans (I used black beans, rinsed and drained)
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 large sweet potato (about 1lb,) peeled and chopped small
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes

 

Directions: 

Add ground turkey and onion to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until no longer pink, breaking turkey up as it cooks. Add garlic then cook for 30 more seconds then add to a 6 quart crock pot. Add remaining ingredients, except toppings, into crock pot then cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 5-6 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Finally…

You may read this title and think that I am referring to the fact that it is FINALLY Friday, or FINALLY the long holiday weekend, or perhaps even FINALLY the weather has started to feel like spring (oh wait, no…it was 50 degrees today!).

 

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But no, I am referencing the fact that I was FINALLY able to make this Banana Quinoa Baked Breakfast that I’ve been wanting to make for weeks.  At first I had overripe bananas, but no quinoa.  Then there was the few days we ran out of eggs after making Apple Eggie Cups.  So FINALLY I had all of the ingredients I needed to make this breakfast.  And perfect timing too as I will need breakfast on the go this weekend.

 

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This recipe was inspired by the success of THIS RECIPE and of course the PR that followed : )

 

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Last night, I whipped up my breakfast bake.

 

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Warning: this is not a sweet brekkie, but the quinoa brings its nutty flavor which always works well with bananas and cinnamon.

 

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I had my first slice this morning, and I am saving the next two for this weekend.  The last slice is waiting in the freezer.

 

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I topped it with almond butter and slices of banana for some extra flavor and protein.  It was delicious!

 

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Finally…I am feeling a little better and stronger and ready to tackle tomorrow’s 10 mile run!  This is my third year doing this super fun race, and I swear they made it even earlier this year, which means I should really be heading to bed.  The BOY and I are spending Saturday and possibly Sunday night downtown.  Fingers crossed, it doesn’t rain too hard!

 

 

What are your Memorial Day weekend plans?

We aren’t hosting our annual BBQ this year, but I’m sure I’ll have plenty to write about after the weekend!

 

 

Banana Quinoa Baked Breakfast

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

3 overripe bananas, mashed

2 cups cooked quinoa

1 egg

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp cinnamon

1 cup almond milk

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8×8 or 9×9 pan with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Pour batter into the pan and bake for 40 minutes, until center is set.

Let cool before eating.  Store in an airtight container or freeze.

Banana and Quinoa Pancakes

During the week, breakfast is usually a make ahead option or something pretty quick.

Luckily, I have complied a list of easy and delicious healthy week day breakfast options…

 

Breakfast Stirfry

Chocolate Peanut Butter Green Smoothie

Dough Boy Smoothie

Hot Banana Breakfast Quinoa

Overnight Oats in a Jar

 

So on the weekends (and Mondays), I like to do something a little more fun.  For example…Pancakes!  Yes, this blog is full of them.  Mostly because they can be made quickly, offer tons of flexible options, and fuel a morning workout.

 

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This morning, I went with a twist on the 2 Ingredient Pancake adding in some leftover quinoa for protein and texture and cinnamon because that just makes everything taste better.

 

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I ended up with a plateful of tasty mini pancakes that I couldn’t wait to devour!

 

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There’s just something about starting off your day (and week) with a warm breakfast that just feels fun!

 

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By 10am, the weather had gotten about as warm as it was going to get for the day.  At 57 degrees, I was slightly disappointed, but it was time to climb onto my bicycle.  Over the last week, I didn’t get in all of my workouts (because it was busy AND because I was recovering from my half marathon), so I knew today needed to be worthwhile!

 

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I was happy that I added a long sleeve shirt before going outside because on my bike, the wind was chilly!

 

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I had the most peaceful and enjoyable 11 mile ride this morning.  The 45 minutes whizzed by as I soaked up the sunshine.  All of the water from the flooding is gone, and I swear that the grass and trees look even brighter than a week ago.

 

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I finished up my ride, returned my bike to the garage, and headed inside for half a Larabar and to change my shoes.  I have retired my original Pure Cadence shoes after the half marathon, and thought that this morning’s BRICK would be the perfect slow and steady run to start breaking in my new shoes.

 

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BTW, I can’t even begin to express how excited I am to have purple running shoes!  Although the same shoe (Brooks Pure Cadence) this is the second generation so it did feel a little different on my feet.  I ran for 30 minutes and this time took off my long sleeve layer to the heat and sun.  As I was walking out the door, the BOY started talking about lunch.  When I arrived home, he had a rich beer on the container with chicken prepped for the grill.

 

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I showered and got started on laundry, and the BOY excitedly manned the grill out back.

 

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He made himself a colorful Buffalo Chicken Wrap.

 

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And I stuck with simple grilled chicken, a sweet potato, and veggies.

 

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He made extras so I’d have lunch for the week.  AWESOME!

 

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The sun is calling my name, so I am heading out back to hang with the BOY.

Happy Monday!

 

 

Banana and Quinoa Pancakes

 

Ingredients

1 overripe banana, mashed

1 egg + 1 egg white

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Cinnamon to taste

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

Preheat skillet or pan over medium/high heat.  Spray with cooking spray.  Drop batter onto skillet with 1/4 measuring cup.  After ~5-7 minutes flip pancakes if ready.  Let sit another 4-5 minutes. 

Serve warm with fruit, syrup, nut butters, coconut or your favorite toppings.

 

 

What is your favorite easy week day breakfast?

What do you like to make for breakfast on the weekends?

Baked Apple Breakfast Quinoa

People are always shocked to hear that I eat quinoa for breakfast.  I mean, I don’t eat it every morning, but as this post shows, there is no meal (including dessert) that quinoa can’t participate in.  For the people who are curious along with surprised, I often share with them this recipe.

 

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Last night as I was pulling it together (you can prep ahead to save time in the mornings), it occurred to me that my bananas weren’t ripe enough.  Like that ever happens…usually I am overloaded with overripe bananas (hence all of the banana bread).  I knew that I could follow the recipe without banana, but that the nuttiness of the quinoa needed a little something sweet to balance the flavor.

 

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The only thing available in my house was some natural applesauce, so I decided to give it a go.  I also added in apple pie spice and then placed my concoction in the fridge overnight.  This is totally not necessary but helps speed things up in the morning.

 

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This morning, it took just 3 minutes and breakfast was ready.

 

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I topped my quinoa cake with almond butter which was delicious (although not so colorful).

 

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It was quite a filling breakfast that kept me moving almost until lunch (my stomach started growling around 11:30am), which was only slightly embarrassing.

 

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The Baked Apple Breakfast Quinoa was good, but my favorite remains the banana!   Although if my bananas are still green, this will make a good stand in for tomorrow’s breakfast.

 

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So now that I showed you how I started the day…let me also share how I finished it (in terms of food anyways…there was some Downton Abbey involved as well).  Another easy and healthy dinner…turkey taco salad!  Even easier because the BOY had the turkey done before I  got home : )

 

 

Do you eat quinoa for breakfast?  What’s your favorite recipe?

 

 

Baked Apple Breakfast Quinoa

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1 egg + 1 egg white

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

Chopped apple (optional)

1 tbsp ground flax

Apple pie spice

 

Directions

Combine all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.  Stir well.

Microwave for 3 minutes until center is set and cake like.

Cool slightly before eating.

Top with jelly, nut butter, coconut, maple syrup, etc.