Friday, March 21, 2014

Same Place // Same Pose // New Year

It's honestly crazy to realize how fast a year goes by. I have been to Arizona two years in a row for spring break, and both times I have climbed Camelback Mountain in Scottsdale. (And Jason, if you're reading this, I did in fact climb to the "top top top") The picture on the right was taken exactly one week ago.

Hiking is such an exhilarating form of exercise because each individual step seems so insignificant, but when you reach the top you realize that they've all joined together to bring you somewhere incredible.

There is something about a mountain that makes you feel closer to Our Creator.

Monday, March 17, 2014

"Cheesy" Kale Chips

Vegan cheese is very good. I have been obsessed with Quite Cheesy Kale Krunch for some time now, but at $6 for a 2oz bag... it didn't seem like a wise investment for a poor college kid.
So, I searched the internet near and far for a recipe in order to recreate my own "cheesy" kale goodness. (And by "cheesy" I mean to imply that there is no dairy involved here.)

I stumbled upon this recipe, and while I enjoyed it, I was still seeking a flavor more similar to the Kale Krunch version. So using the recipe I found on Pinterest as inspiration, I created my own version, and I am pleased to say it tastes exactly like my beloved Quite Cheesy Kale Krunch.
1 Bunch Kale
1 1/2 c. Cashews
1 small Red Bell Pepper
2/3 c. Nutritional Yeast (this is NOT baker's yeast)
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 cloves Garlic
1-2 tsp. Pink Himalayan Salt
1-2 Tbsp Chia Seeds (optional)

1. Soak cashews in water for a minimum of 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
3. Wash and dry kale. Tear into pieces, removing large stems.
4. Drain soaked cashews and pour into a food processor.
5. Remove stem and seeds of bell pepper, adding it to food processor, along with the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and chia seeds. Blend until an orange paste is formed.
6. Generously massage the vegan cheese spread onto the kale leaves.
7. Spread the leaves out onto a nonstick pan sprayed with cooking spray.
8. Cook in preheated oven for approximately 1 hour (It may be more or less depending on how spread out and how small the leaves are; the chips are done when they are crispy to touch, but the cheese has not turned a dark brown color)
9. Let cool before storing in an airtight container.

Enjoy!! I literally have a hard time not eating the whole batch! They taste exactly like Cheez-It's to me!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It's About Balance, Right?!

So, technically I would consider this a health and fitness blog, but a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, right? So alongside my kale and broccoli, I prefer to indulge in the following:

1. Oh, Chocolate Chip Pancakes... does it really get better than this...? I honestly don't think so. Especially when they're fresh buttermilk pancakes from Guglhupf in Durham.

2. Homemade Cinnamon Rolls, a Christmas morning tradition, forever and always!! My favorite recipe is Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls from AverieCooks.

3. Chocolate and Peanut Butter is always a winning combo... especially when it's in the form of Big Spoon's Peanut Cocoa spread.

4. If you haven't tried the combination of bacon+chocolate, you need to. ASAP. Whether I am dipping my own bacon into bowls of melted chocolate or indulging in one of Mo's Dark Bar by Vosges, it NEVER disappoints.

5. A hot, fresh donut is always a winner. Whether its an apple cider donut from Monuts Donuts, or a homemade baked donut, I'm a fan.

6. Sunflower Seed Butter. Yes. Just Yes.

7. And last, but very far from least, an Iced Chocolate Coffee from Bean Traders. If I'm ever missing, just call Bean Traders. Odds are, I'll be there :)

And that concludes my current list of favorite indulgences. Now back to studying biomechanics. Oh how I wish I could just continue daydreaming about food. (As I contemplate grabbing my jar of sunflower seed butter...)