Banana Maple Buckwheat Granola

When I think of the best adjectives to describe myself, “domestic” never really rises to the top of the list.  In fact, I’m not sure if it’s ever made the cut to be anywhere on the list.  Maybe it’s because I’ve never … Continue reading

Chocolate Pumpkin Chia Breakfast Parfait

This fall I have seen pumpkin-spice lattes, pumpkin-spice butter, pumpkin-spice Pringles, pumpkin-spice vodka, pumpkin-spice shower gel, and now…. I have come up with my own pumpkin-infused creation.  Pumpkin chia breakfast parfait.  Maybe not as ground breaking as pumpkin-spice shower gel, … Continue reading

Mint Brownie Ice Cream

I’m going through Spain withdrawal.

I miss the beautiful beaches of San Sebastian, the narrow, winding city streets of Sevilla, and the outrageous architecture of Barcelona.  And as surprising as it may seem, after my less than appetizing diet while studying abroad in Sevilla, I actually miss the Spanish food.  More specifically, the helado. (Ice cream, for you non-spanish speakers).  I’m pretty sure I had a cup of helado every day while I was there, sometimes substituting it as my lunch or dinner.  It was a fantastic meal plan. The epitome of clean eating.

But now back at home, I’ve tried to avoid the ice cream and get back to my usual healthy diet of green smoothies, omelettes, and colorful salads.  I’ve been doing pretty well, but over the last few days I have been yearning for a rich, creamy cup of helado.  At first I tried to suppress the cravings, but I knew it was only time before I caved and bought the tub of Ben and Jerry’s.  Then, Friday night, came a great realization.

I have an ice cream maker.

I’m not exactly sure how I let this ice cream maker sit idly in my house for the past 5 years, but it has been there – lonely and cold.  And maybe it’s for the best that I didn’t capitalize on its existence five years ago, because who knows what my current state of health would be.  Nonetheless, once I remembered its fine presence, I took complete advantage of the opportunity to make my own ice cream (a healthy version, of course).  And I know you probably won’t believe me, and you will think I’m really exaggerating its success, but this dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegan ice cream was AMAZING. It actually tasted exactly like the real thing and was easily comparable to my helado in Spain.  So for you nonbelievers who adamantly insist that a “healthy” ice cream could never taste good, much less as good as “normal” ice cream, I challenge you to try out this recipe and taste for yourself.  I have a feeling you’ll be helping yourself to a second scoop.

Vegan Mint Brownie Ice Cream

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Instead of the 1/4 cup of cane sugar that the original recipe calls for, I used a small spoonful of coconut sugar. This less sugar-intense version was definitely sweet enough for me.  Even if you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can freeze the batter and eat it as ice cream, it just probably won’t have the same smooth ice cream texture.

I have a feeling that there will be many more ice cream posts coming in the near future.  But who can blame a girl? It’s summer. It’s hot. And the ice cream maker is calling my name.

 

 

Cinnamon Pecan Granola

This past week I finally reunited with the lovely Jen Fields to start training again! I had desperately missed her immobilizing workouts from junior year and with the craziness of my last semester, I knew I needed all the motivation I could get to make me workout – especially since I conveniently forgot I’ll be in the Bahamas for Spring Break in less than 3 weeks. (When I finally acknowledged this exciting/frightening reality last week, I immediately started and successfully completed another 3-day juice cleanse.) 

While we were training, Jen told me she had recently decided to go Paleo and immediately began to gush about all of the amazing grain-free recipes she had perfected. While I’m not a Paleo, I tend to follow a diet that’s fairly similar to what they recommend (meats, veggies, fruits, nuts) so I was excited to try some of her new favorite dishes…… And once I tried this granola, I was already planning my trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients before I had even left her apartment.

She posted her own recipe on her new food blog, but I substituted a few of the ingredients – so my version is posted below. 

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Grain-Free Cinnamon Pecan Granola

Ingredients:

  1. Handful of Cashews
  2. Handful of Pecans
  3. 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  4. 2 Tbsp Honey
  5. 1-2 Tbsp Almond Butter
  6. Cinnamon to taste
  7. Nutmeg to taste
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse cashews and pecans in food processor a few times just to chop them into smaller pieces – don’t blend for TOO long!
  3. Gradually add the rest of the ingredients while slowly massaging the mixture so that it develops an even consistency and begins to stick together.
  4. You may need to adjust the amount of honey/almond butter depending on how many nuts you use and the type of granola you would like.
  5. Spread mixture evenly across baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes – keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn!
  7. Let cool and harden.

I paired the granola with unsweetened almond milk and sprinkled some shredded coconut on top for a post-dinner snack last night and also for breakfast this morning. But because I seem to have demolished this batch in just two servings, I will definitely double the ingredients next time so that it might last longer than a day…

However, if you have any normal amount of self control, you can probably make it last a little longer than I did.

Enjoy!

2 Drinks That Won’t Ruin Your 2014 Resolutions

So it’s almost 2 weeks into the New Year.  You’ve been cooking lightly, exercising daily, and are feeling better than ever. You can definitely keep this up for 50 more weeks – easy.  You laugh in the face of those … Continue reading

No-Bake, 10-Minute Chocolate Heaven

Finals week has unfortunately, and quite abruptly, arrived.  All of a sudden, your life consists of hot Starbucks, carefully crafted Pandora playlists, comfy leggings and sweatshirts, elaborate Google Doc study guides, never-before-opened textbooks and… an empty refrigerator.

You finished the last of your groceries a few days ago and vehemently refuse to brave the grocery store for a restock. You will being heading home in less than a week – why waste the time? You’ll just eat out for the next six days.

Except, a tiny problem presents itself. Your refrigerator isn’t the only thing that college sucked dry. A brief peek at your desolate bank account reminds you about that pre-finals, de-stress shopping spree you gladly took part in. And that pre-finals de-stress happy hour adventure…. Uh oh.

Now you’re peering into the dark abyss that is your pantry shelf, surveying the unfortunate meal options you have to choose from. A slimy, black banana that you obviously forgot to eat, some mini boxes of raisins, a bag of mixed nuts, and… vanilla powder? ‘Why did I even buy vanilla powder?’

You get a little more stressed, quickly yearning for a decadent dessert to ease the tension.

Well, my friend. YOU are in luck. In just ten minutes, you can indulge in this nutritious, yet exceptionally delicious dessert that miraculously only requires your pitiful pantry leftovers… (plus a few extra add-ins). It’s vegan, raw, gluten-free, and finals-ready.

Chocolate Caramel Delight

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I would choose to eat this treat over a traditional piece of chocolate cake any and every day. I made it twice within a single week and plan to continue this trend over winter break. It’s roommate-approved and family-approved, meaning it tastes like the real thing.

So go ahead and whip this up as a post-finals reward or a pre-final energizer. It’s easy!

Nutty Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

Now that the weather is changing and Halloween is right around the corner, more and more sweets keep popping up in my house. So naturally, I have been having less and less willpower to say no not only to sweets, but also crackers, pizza, and chipotle.  And even though the season of over-sized sweaters and leggings has replaced crop tops and jean shorts, I am not willing to give up on my healthy eating grind all together just because I don’t have to worry about putting on a bikini for a few months.

Therefore, I discovered a compromise.  As many people will turn to Halloween candy, pumpkin pie, and double fudge brownies this holiday season, I will shake my head (for the most part) and turn to this healthy alternative. It can be eaten as a breakfast, snack, or dessert!

These cookies, inspired by Kelly Bonnell’s recipe, are gluten-free, contain no refined sugar, and embrace the flavors of fall.

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Nutty Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies 

  • 1 Cup Natural Peanut Butter (I would try almond butter next time)
  • 1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Cups Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips/Cacao Nibs (I chopped up a 70% cocoa chocolate bar)
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Combine all ingredients except nuts, chocolate, and oats into large mixing bowl
  • Slowly stir and add in the rest of the ingredients
  • Grease baking sheets and use large spoon to divide dough onto sheets at desired cookie sizes
  • Note: Cookies do not spread much so you can place them close together
  • Cook for about 15 minutes or until golden brown
  • Enjoy!
    *Makes 20-30 cookies depending on size

I had these cookies for breakfast and dessert today – so make sure to put them in a place where you won’t be tempted to eat one every time you walk by the kitchen. Beat the urge to grab the candy!

Roommate-Approved, Pumpkin Pie Dip

After a two-week long hiatus from A Smaller Bite, I am back and ready to share with you my new culinary adventures in College Park. It’s been a jam-packed few weeks of reuniting with old friends, getting settled into a new house, … Continue reading

The 4th of July: A Day of Food Firsts…. and Food Lasts

To start, I have to confess that this blog post title should probably be named “Crappy Crêpes”, but if I had posted that, then you most likely wouldn’t have clicked on it, and you most definitely wouldn’t have gotten a good laugh out of one of my many failed attempts at being domestic.

I began Independence Day with a desire to find a healthy, patriotic dessert to make for my family. After about an hour of researching “raw vegan 4th of july desserts” and “gluten free patriotic recipes”, I stumbled across a vegan, gluten free crêpe recipe that used raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries in the filling — Perfect! The ingredients and instructions seemed simple enough, so I headed to the grocery store, excited about the awesome new recipe that I was about to make.

After a yummy dinner of asian salad, homemade corn salsa, smoked BBQ ribs (I actually had a few bites), and deviled eggs stuffed with guacamole (pictured below), I was anxious to end the night on a high note.

Continue reading

The Ultimate “Mounds of Goodness”

About 10 years ago, my mother came across this non-bake cookie recipe where, instead of putting cookies in the oven, you put them in the fridge to sit overnight and firm. After making them just once, the recipe was an instant hit.  However, we needed a name for it. Naturally, the only appropriate name for the cookies that my friends and I could come up with was “Mounds of Goodness”.  It was impossible to eat just one mound of goodness, or two, or three, so we weren’t allowed to make them that often.  However, their legacy has lived on.

Feeling sentimental a few days ago, I decided to create my own ‘Mounds of Goodness’ recipe – minus the 2 sticks of butter, 3 cups of sugar, etc, etc (basically, a smaller bite). To do this, I rounded up the relevant ingredients I had lying around and decided to just add a little bit of this, and a few drizzles of that into a bowl and hope for the best. To my delight, they did not disappoint. While the pictures don’t exactly capture their deliciousness, I promise that it was worth the 2 short minutes it took me to make them.

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I didn’t really measure any of the ingredients I threw in, because you kind of have to experiment to get the consistency and taste that you want – but that’s the best part! The ingredients that I used were:

  • Almond Butter
  • Honey
  • Raw Cacao Nibs (like chocolate chips)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Coconut flakes
  • Steel-cut oats
  • Raw vegan chocolate protein powder

I used the almond butter as the base and then added everything else in, finishing with the honey to help it stick together more.  I ended up having to add more almond butter to get it to take on more of a dough consistency and hold, but depending on what ingredients you choose to add or subtract you might not have an issue.

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I then formed the dough into small little balls and placed them on a baking sheet, like any other cookie you would normally bake. Although they were already pretty firm, I decided to still put them in the fridge to sit overnight in order to see if they might harden a bit. To be honest, the consistency and firmness hadn’t changed much the next day when I took them out, so I don’t think you necessarily need to keep them in the refrigerator.  Either way, putting two or three in a bag to take to work and have as a snack, or saving one for a sweet treat after dinner is easy, healthy, and most importantly, delicious.

I didn’t think it was possible, but I am pretty sure that these Mounds top the old ones, and with the high-quality ingredients, they really are “Mounds of Goodness”.