Monday Recap

Good afternoon!

Let me recap my Monday for you:

Breakfast was the same (irish oatmeal, stevia, pumpkin pie spice), but the smoothie I made differed a little bit because the peaches haven’t ripened yet (they are camped out in a paper bag to expedite this process) and I am trying to use up the baby food in the fridge to make room for even more delicious healthy eats ūüôā

Monday Green Smoothie

– 2 leaves kale
– 1 spear pineapple
– 1 jar apple, banana, peach baby food
– 2 Tbsp chia seeds
– ice & water

Neil wasn’t going to get up as early as I did, so more smoothie for me!!

I had leftover¬†casserole¬†for lunch and walked around since it was such a nice day outside! ¬†I had to make a trip to the post office to mail out the wedding invitations invitations I put together on Sunday. ¬†There seems to be a discrepancy between the post office that I went to and the one Neil’s parent’s went to, because they each told us different postage amounts. ¬†Hopefully none come back in the mail!

Neil’s parent’s got nice wedding themed 66c stamps, while I was told the postage would be 86c. ¬†I didn’t even know they made 86c stamps! Apparently the only design they had in that amount were these lovely puffins:

I hope our guests like birds.

After work, I headed to the gym because it was LEG DAY.  I love leg day because it is my favorite set of muscles to make sore.  I did my 10 min running warm up and then about 50 min of leg exercises.  I focused more on my hamstrings and butt since the other days I worked more on my quads.

I wanted to do more since I didn’t really have anything planned last night, but I started to feel a twinge in my hip, so I begrudgingly did only what I thought was reasonable. ¬†I am a little paranoid now about listening to my body after my injury, so even though I felt like I could do more, I played it safe. ¬†My hip doesn’t usually affect my leg workouts anymore, but I think the long run I had on Sunday may have made it a little more susceptible to being overworked.

I wobbled my way back to the car and drove home for even more servings of the delicious casserole and 2 slices of Ezekiel bread with Earth Balance spread on them.  I mixed in the leftover avocado from Sunday as well:

I am loving this bread! ¬†Good thing Neil doesn’t like it and I can have it all to myself. ¬†I am excited to sample the other kinds they have too. ¬†Now about this Earth Balance spread…
I was raised on butter and butter alone. ¬†No margarines or any other kind of butter substitute. ¬†I hated the taste of margarine and would demand all places everywhere serve me butter on a silver platter. ¬†When I was little, my mother told me that I even ate part of a stick of butter from the table when my parents weren’t looking. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, butter is DELICIOUS, but I am trying to find alternatives since the health benefits of butter are, well, not good (but delicious). ¬†It is beneficial for my stomach as well with the whole lactose intolerance thing. ¬†
Enter Earth Balance. ¬†I have two tubs of this spread in my fridge from almost a year ago when I was using it to bake. ¬†(I tend to bake feverishly as soon as the weather turns from summer to fall and then winter. ¬†Something about the smells and the warmth?). Anyway, this is the first non-butter product that I have tried and actually liked. ¬†It seems sacrilegious to say this, but I can’t tell the difference when I spread it on toast or other things. ¬†It even melts like butter and is super smooth out of the container.
So what is Earth Balance, you ask? It is a blend of different oils that results in creamy deliciousness on my bread. ¬†I don’t know how they made it taste like butter, but I guess that’s why they have the company and I don’t. ¬†Here are other added benefits of this spread:
– vegan
– lactose-free
– gluten-free
– 0 g trans fat
– casein-free
– non-GMO
I haven’t had any issues baking with it either so basically wherever you use butter you replace it with this spread. ¬†They make many more products than they did when I first discovered it, so check them out¬†here. ¬†I can’t believe I ignored this gem for so long. Shame on me!
After I ate my dinner, I was craving something sweet. ¬†I had just finished my¬†Healthy Cookie Bites¬†the night before, so I looked for another recipe to satisfy my sweet tooth. ¬†I would have just made those again, but my bananas weren’t ripe enough. ¬†I found a recipe for flourless chocolate cookies and happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so I set out to make a batch. You can find the recipe¬†here.
So they turned out fine and delicious, but I had a bit of a spaz attack in the middle of making them.  First off, here is a picture of the flax egg:
1 T ground flax seed + 3 T water

I know you can make both a flax egg and a chia egg, but I don’t know what the advantage is for one over the other (if there is one). ¬†My instinct tells me that a chia egg would more closely resemble an actual egg since the seeds become gelatinous when mixed with water, but I don’t know. ¬†If anyone has any insight on that, let me know.

Here are the dry ingredients (forgive the camera quality):
Wet ingredients (homemade almond butter!):
I added dry + wet (forgot to take a picture). Now this is where I started to panic because this batter is pretty thin and not cookie-like at all.  When I spooned it on the baking sheet, it kind of just oozed off the spoon.  Rather than read the name of the recipe again (FLOURLESS chocolate cookies), I decided that I needed to thicken up the batter.  I grabbed approx a half cup or more of oats and threw them in (no longer gluten free cookies).  
Dry + wet + oats:
I still was not satisfied with the thickness of this batter so I picked the next thing I knew to thicken things up which were chia seeds.  I dumped probably like 2 Tbsp in there like a crazy mad woman.  By this time the first batch (no alterations) was done, so I took them out of the oven:
They were a little thin as to be expected, but still tasted great. ¬†They were also a little crumbly, but I may have just needed to add a little more batter. ¬†There wasn’t much difference between the first and second batch except that the second one held together a little better. ¬†I wonder if a chia instead of a flax egg would have been better? ¬†I also used more batter per cookie on the second batch so I think that helped out.
The second batch are closer to the front and the first batch is towards the back. ¬†There’s really not a huge difference in appearance and they both taste delicious. ¬†I only got about 12 cookies because the batter itself was tempting me. ¬†Since there were no raw eggs, I could eat as much as I wanted!
I promptly ate 3 of these cookies, had my tea, and went to bed.  
Stay tuned for more adventures!
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