My Awesome Lunch: Easy Chick Pea, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

I had an awesome lunch today. And it took me all of 15 minutes to make it last night.

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Easy Chick Pea, Cucumber & Tomato Salad

  • 2 cups grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 English cucumber (quartered and chopped)
  • 1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans)
  • 1/2 a medium red onion (minced)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced or grated)
  • Juice of half a lemon (or a whole lemon depending on how juicy it is)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Mix, mix, mix and enjoy. You can eat it solo, on a bed of lettuce, in Romaine lettuce cups, or as a side dish! It’s light, fresh and delicious!

It’s not too late for Pumpkin goodness! #GF Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes & Pumpkin Butter

Oh how the days just seem to slip away. I swear just yesterday I saw the first leaves start to turn the slightest tinge of orange and the next thing I know it’s November!

Well, October is my favorite month for many reasons, so I am sad that it’s gone. But, while it was here I did manage to whip up some amazing pumpkin concoctions that I’ve been meaning to share so….

Gluten-free Pumpkin Buckwheat Pancakes

*Adapted from my friends the Walberg’s Aunt Gina’s buckwheat recipe…thanks Aunt Gina!

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  • 1C buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice (more or less to your liking)
  • 1TBSP coconut oil
  • 1TBSP honey (I used raw)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 C pumpkin puree (If you use the “pie mix” kind eliminate some of the spices! And… I’ve tried adding more…. it doesn’t work…trust me on this one!)
  • 1C almond milk (or regular milk for you lactose enzyme producing folk)
  • 1 egg
  1. Mix dry ingredients
  2. Melt together coconut oil and honey
  3. Add vanilla to coconut/honey mix
  4. Add coconut/honey/vanilla mix, pumpkin and egg to dry mix. Stir to combine.
  5. Start to add milk little by little until you get a pancake batter consistency to your liking.
  6. Heat griddle (med or so) and coat with your favorite kind of cooking lubricant (I either use coconut oil or butter). Cook and enjoy!

NOTE: if you’re not a good pancake maker… these are very much so like regular pancakes in that they tell you when they need flipped. They will get tiny pockets (burst bubbles) in them. Flip, cook about 1min more and then remove from heat!

I also made this….

5min Pumpkin Butter

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  • 1C pumpkin puree
  • 1 TBSP raw honey (or reg honey)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • A splash or two of almond milk
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a microwave safe dish.
  2. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes.
  3. Stir, stir, stir.
  4. Taste…adjust sweetness to your liking, and enjoy on top your pancakes!

So, there you have it two super easy, GF, DF, Vitamin A packed recipes to help you enjoy some pumpkin… and there are a few more still to come… so get some pumpkin and get to cookin… it’s still fall after all!

Fat Tuesday means Lent(ils)

Fat Tuesday and Valentine’s Day in one week!? This could be bad folks, really bad! But, I have my game face on and I’m still going strong with my FebruHABITS!

  • Gallon of water a day, check!
  • Lots of veggies every day, check!
  • Reading Proverbs and Great Expectations, double check (I’m almost half-way through GE!).

And I’ve already spent some unexpected coffee, breakfasts, chat time with three wonderful friends this month, so check, check, checkedy-check on being intentionally social! But today I couldn’t say no to this little “love bug” cakepop… too cute! So fudgey, so worth it!

lovebug

How’s it going for you? Still on track with those habits? Be sure to comment below so we can be in it together! 

Onto the Fat…

So, Fat Tuesday is today…the day before the season of Lent starts. I grew up Roman Catholic, and I remember each year in school (Catholic school that is) picking things to give up during Lent. For some reason it was usually sweets or other guilty pleasure foods ice cream, pop (soda for some of you, coke for others), candy of whatever sort… I gave even gave up AIM once (remember when AOL was popular?) 

Going 40 days without something should make you crave it all the more, right?

But, giving something tangible up for Lent always seems to lead to a lessened desire for it after Lent is over (at least for me)! Which is sort of the premise for FebruHABITS…replacing old habits with new ones (essentially giving something up to make your life better)!  In the same way, the goal of Lent (I learned years later) isn’t merely to just give something up, but rather to fill the time you’d spend on AIM or take the money you would’ve spent on pop, ice cream, etc and use it for God’s glory. Just some food for thought 🙂

And the Lentils…

So, it being the start of Lent tomorrow and today’s letter in the #plantpower challenge being “L” I naturally thought of Lentils!!!

I found this amazing recipe for Vegan Lentil Stuffed Cabbage, and was planning on taking a friend who’s a new mom dinner, so I made a few changes (no brown rice, no raisins, and I added some chili flakes to the lentils to give it a little kick). I made some Cauliflower mash with two parsnips added in for an extra pepperiness and…

BOOM! Pure Vegetable Deliciousness!

vegan cabbage rolls

FYI…I’m not a vegan, but vegetables are so delicious! Do you have favorite veggie-fied recipe? 

Thankful Thursday!

Happy Thursday!!!

I’ve been thinking about how many things I have to be thankful for in my life, and I love alliteration, so it’s Thankful Thursday! This morning I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 6:30am (and I’m NOT a morning person)…no alarm…just woke up! And, I’m so thankful that I had the extra time to do some devotional readings, catch up on the news, go to the post office, and have a quick chat with a dear friend…all before work! God is certainly good to me in more ways than I can even realize!

Waking up early also gave me time to think about how I could celebrate that today’s #powerplant letter is G! So…

G is for…

G is for..

Gift giving… I love sending packages to friends 🙂

Green goodness in a glass… this morning I made my smoothie with 1C kale, 1 pear, 1C almond milk, some aloe vera juice, a scoop of chlorella, a few ice cubes and some stevia… It was delicious!

Green goodness on a plate… my co-worker made us lunch! Salmon filets on a bed of spinach! So, I added my home-made rainbow salsa and chowed down #plantpower style.

Getting to get away! I’ll be headed to the Sunshine state in 20 days!!! Just another reason why FebruHABITS are so helpful this month… summer is just around the corner!

What are you thankful about this Thursday!?

Are you looking forward to anything at the end of the month? 

FebruHABITS

It’s almost February! AH! How did that happen?! February…hmmm…Will Phil see his shadow? Is it a leap year? And, what sort of sadist decided to lump all the holidays together where being single seems to equate you with a leper? But at least it means there’s only 6 more months until the Canfield Fair with my boo Deanna!

Canfield Fair

Ok, but seriously…February also seems to be a month where people start falling off the wagon in terms of their 2013 goals. It gets bitterly cold and dank out (altho this nice warm spell in DC is GREAT!) and I know I would rather sit on the couch in my comfy sweatpants than think about being social, working out, or trying a new recipe!

So, along with some other challenges that are floating (#Plantpower with Powercakes and the 2013 Challenge) a few friends and I have decided to band together to keep one another accountable and encouraged as we work on building new habits!

You may have heard that it takes 21-30 days to build a habit… I thought that was a cold hard fact! But, recent research from the University College of London suggests that the 21-30 day habit building ideal is actually a myth, saying that evidence for the 21-day cycle is purely anecdotal. WHAT?!? Then how do you build new habits effectively, and how long does it take? Welp, it depends on YOU! Everyone is differently, beautifully, and wonderfully made, so any kind of cookie cutter diet/fad/plan/etc will either leave you feeling like…

  • A: a CHAMP… you are already on step 9 of 12 and it’s only day 2
  • B: a WIMP… you don’t even know where to start and figure you’ll fail anyway
  • C: like CRAP… you started off great but it’s been 2 weeks and you’ve seen 0 changes

Sound familiar? For a long time I always ended up in category C… I start off with great intentions and then life happened, someone brought birthday cake to the office and I would feel like IT’S ALL OVER…today is shot, might as well throw in the towel and have a cheeseburger or Chic Fil-A (mmm Chic Fil-A waffle fries are made of 100% magic) right?

WRONG! Building a habit, a new lifestyle, a new diet (and I mean diet as in the way you eat NOT some unattainable fad you adopt for a month and then crash because you can’t live on cabbage), isn’t about beating yourself up. It’s about taking small steps FORWARD!

I started to see results in my own life (health and fitness wise as well as discipline wise) after really taking a look at what I was eating through My Fitness Pal, chatting with my friend Tracy about nutrition and exercise, and generally keeping myself honest with… well… MYSELF!

So what’s FebruHABITS all about?

It’s NOT just about HEALTH GOALS…although those are great and would be a good addition. It IS about setting small, attainable goals that you’re comfortable sharing with others, getting accountability to KEEP MOVING FORWARD in your pursuit of those goals, and CELEBRATING your achievements at the end of the month!

How does it work?

#1 you need to a pick a reward… that’s the fun part! Maybe you’ll get that new pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing, dinner at your fave restaurant, or a new piece of cooking equipment…whatever you choose, but make it something out of the ordinary.

#2 choose at least one simple daily goal! You can choose more than one (I broke mine down into categories, two small goals for each, 6 in total) but keep them S.M.A.R.T. & don’t go overboard!  It could be health and fitness related (do 25 push-ups everyday), spiritual (read a new Bible verse each day), or even interpersonal (talk to one stranger everyday!) They shouldn’t be… lose 5lbs, eat more veggies…that’s not specific nor measurable enough! (shoot me a comment if you need help developing your goals)

My goals…

  • HEALTH: Drink 1 gallon of water every day (that seems like a lot but I’ve been working up to 1gal for awhile now, so I know it’s attainable)
  • HEALTH: Make my daily food intake from #Plantpower with Powercakes except on Mondays
  • SPIRITUAL: Read a Proverb every day & Journal on Monday nights
  • PERSONAL: Read at least one chapter of Great Expectations a night (I have been trying to finish this book for FOREVER)
  • PERSONAL: Keep in touch with all of YOU by posting for FebruHABITS each week!

#3 Download the FebruHabits Calendar, put your goals at the bottom, print it off and hang it somewhere you see everyday… I’m guessing that for most of us that’s the refrigerator! AND post your goals below so we all know what you’re up to 🙂

calendaronfridge

#4 check off each day when you’ve completed your goals and start doing a happy dance as we sail through February! Miss a day? NO PROBLEM! Tomorrow is a new day! And you get 3 cheat days (that’s 90% success rate)…although no cheating is the preference 😉

#5 Be sure to check in each week to see what’s new, get some encouragement, and let me know how you’re doing! You can also follow me on instagram @spoonfulofsara and post your #FebruHABITS pics (maybe extra accountability? 😉

So…what are your FebruHABITs goals? Are you nervous, excited, both?