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Category Archives: Obsessed

Obsessed: Almond Butter

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Ah, almond butter. What would I do without you?! This is a staple in my refrigerator and I use it so often that it’s something I have to replenish every other week (if not more often). It’s surprisingly pricey (8, 9 dollars, maybe?) at a regular supermarket, so I usually pick mine up at TJs for about 5 dollars and it is ALWAYS the most expensive thing I buy (but always worth it!)

It comes in a variety of different ways….salty, crunchy, smooth, unsalted, etc. I always stick with the raw, crunchy, unsalted version. No added salt for me! I use it in countless ways. You can pretty much use it any way you would peanut butter, but here are some of the ways I use it:

– grilled almond butter and jelly sandwich

– on toast topped with banana slices

– in a smoothie (best. idea. ever.)

– in breakfast quinoa/oatmeal

– on apple slices

– straight out of the jar

When I was hardcore into running a few months ago (pre injury, boo!) my go-to pre running snack was either a spoonful of this stuff straight out of the jar, or I would slather it onto a piece of whole wheat toast. It kept me satisfied and gave me the fuel I needed for my running.

Don’t get me wrong — I love me some regular ole’ peanut butter and I happily enjoy both types (or any sort of nut butter, really) but there’s something about this stuff that I think I like better. If you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. Splurge a little and pick some up!

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Obsessed: Trader Joe’s Vegetable Masala Burger

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I could probably write an entire post, nay, BLOG about my love affair with Trader Joe’s. True, sometimes the relationship is tumultuous (the lines, the wimpy spice section and the lack of inventory at the end of the day makes me want to strangle someone), and sometimes I stray (Heyyyy,  Whole Foods down the block!), but on the whole, we’re a pretty happy couple, Joe and I.  Where ELSE can I spend $75 dollars a week and in return, get breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire week?! Answer: no where.

While a lot of what I pick up at TJs is not prepared foods,  I do grab a few things to eat on the nights where I’m too tired/lazy to make a whole ordeal out of my dinner making. Enter one of my favorite TJ products:  Vegetable Masala Burgers. They have an Indian/Curry flavor to them that is deeeeelicious. They are pre-cooked, so all you have to do warm them up in the micro for 2 minutes, pop them into a pita, whole wheat burger bun, put them over a salad and BAM, you’ve got yourself a meal. Best part? They’re only 120 calories a pop.

Get em.

Obsessed: Kale

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Kale, glorious KALE! (sung to the tune of “Food, Glorious Food”, from Oliver. Oh, come on. I know you know it.)

I am, at the moment, head over heels in love with kale. Sure, I’ve eaten kale before but only on rare occasions and never from my own kitchen. Whole Foods salad bar? That’s one thing. My refrigerator? That is QUITE another.

I’ve recently been reading tons of praise for this crinkly green vegetable, and after coming across some recipes that looked easy, I have been making it A LOT (see: three times a week). So, I’m going to share the “Kale Breakdown” with you in the hopes that you too will be hooked like I am.

Why Should I Be Eating Kale?

Alright peeps, get with the program. You haven’t heard? Kale is like, all the rage right now. Why? This snazzy pic summarizes it better than I can. (Also, it’s pretty and colorful.)

As you can see kale is super low in calories and packed with tons of good stuff like Fiber, Iron, Vitamins A, C, K, B6 (all you Vegans, you listening?), Calcium and Potassium (among other awesome things).

Okay, I get it. It’s “good” for you, or whatever, but what do I DO with it?

Ah yes, the age old question of: “What the EFF am  I supposed to do with this stuff?” Don’t fret, my friends. There is a TON of stuff you can do with kale! The first thing to do is decide whether you want to ingest its leafy goodness raw, or cooked.

Raw:

This is how I typically eat my kale. I use it in salads to replace my normal romaine lettuce, mixed greens, or spinach. The trick, and this is very important so listen up, is to let the kale soak up the dressing for a good 15-20 minutes before eating it. You can do this one of two ways: either rub the dressing into the kale with your bare hands (the quicker way) or dress the leaves and let them sit either on your counter or in the fridge. Either way, the kale will begin to wilt (which is a good thing!) and the once scary, stiff looking, crunchy stuff that you feared picking up at the grocery store turns into deliciousness, blowing your old romaine straight out of the water (okay, so maybe I’m going slightly overboard but I’m trying to get you guys into this! It’s GOOD! seriously.)

Here is what I do:

I take one bunch of kale, rinse it, and then split it into two halves. Each half will make up one entree sized serving (or if you’re serving two people use the whole bunch.) I then remove the leaves from the stems, ripping the larger leaves in half. I slightly pat the leaves dry. Then comes the fun part: dressing it. Lately I’ve been using a pretty standard mix of ingredients: olive oil, soy sauce, a little bit of sesame seed oil and a TON of lemon (juice of half a lemon). Once the leaves are covered in this mixture, I let it sit, like I said, for about 20 minutes. You’ll see the leaves soaking everything up and turning a dark green.

While this is going on, I chop up anything I can get my hands on. Avocado, tomatoes, beets, walnuts, red onion, red pepper – really, ANYTHING. By this time, the leaves are ready. I add everything and then devour. The end! Here is a picture of a salad I made a few weeks ago. Are you inspired yet?

Some other ideas for raw kale:

Classic Kale Salad – Whole Foods Recipe

Fruity Kale Salad with Coconut Lime Dressing

BLT Kale Salad

Cooked:

I’ve never tried this method because I’m currently too wrapped up in raw kale to bother with cooking it, but apparently kale can be used in a host of different stews, soups and pastas. I can’t imagine that you could go wrong with it! Here are some ideas if you should choose to be adventures with your new found love of kale:

Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup

Chickpea, Sausage and Kale Pasta

Lentil Stew with Kale and Potatoes

And FINALLY, the last way to enjoy kale: KALE CHIPS! If you walk away from this post with one thing, dear readers, I hope that it is this little recipe for kale chips. They are so delicious, easy to make, and fool you into thinking you’re eating something bad for you, when in reality you’re not. Not even a little.

Kale Chips

So go ahead, give it and any one of these recipes a shot. I promise you won’t be disappointed!