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!

Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Now that the time has come where I can’t even venture to my mailbox without a huge winter coat, scarf, boots, and gloves, I have found myself craving some of my favorite comforting, carb-loaded dishes.  But seeing that I would have to rename this blog to A Bigger Bite if I wanted to include these beloved recipes, I decided to craft a lighter version of one of my all-time favorite meals.

Ever since I can remember, a heaping plate of pasta topped with pesto has been my go-to indulgence.  (Just see Dinner with Grandma to find out why…) So since spaghetti squash seems to be the new trend this fall, my roommate and I decided to join the band wagon and indulge, while still adding our own flare to the meal.  I bring you…

Caprese Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

INGREDIENTS:
Spaghetti Squash:
  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 6 Oz Fresh Mozzarella (omit for vegan alternative)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Pesto:
  • 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Pinch of sea salt
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lightly grease pan
  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds (You can save them to roast later!)
  4. Place squash face down on pan and cook 30-45 min, until soft
  5. Put all ingredients for pesto in food processor and pulse until smooth, pesto consistency
  6. Let squash cool enough to touch, and then scoop out “spaghetti” with a fork
  7. Toss with mozzarella, tomato, and salt and pepper
  8. Top with pesto and voila!

*Serves 2

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Acorn Squash Stuffed With Quinoa and Pistachios

A few days ago, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and made a recipe that seemed a bit more intimidating than usual. When my friend told me that I was “selling myself short” after writing off a few complicated recipes I had seen, I decided to accept the culinary challenge.  I’m not very experienced when it comes to cooking with fall foods (squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, etc) so I recently found myself in a food-rut, longing for the colorful salads and green smoothies from the summer. There was only one thing to do – take the leap and dive into these seasonal staples.

I came across this roasted acorn squash recipe the other day while browsing through Weekly Greens, and realized I just needed to go for it.  To my surprise – it took less than 30 minutes total for prepping and cooking, it was delicious, AND it was roommate approved.

I made two separate batches – one with feta, one without, and both were equally appetizing.  For the vegan alternative, I just doubled the amount of pistachios that the original had called for.

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Now to my next leap of faith?
I have somehow mustered up the courage to make peace with my juicer so that I can (hopefully) endure another 3-day juice cleanse.  College life has once again gotten the best of me, so in an attempt to rid myself of the various toxins that come with this 4-year package, I have declared today Day 1 of my juice extravaganza.

Stay tuned…

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!

Easy, Healthy Options for the Desperate Snack-a-holics

Picture this: You’re sitting in the living room, it’s 4pm, and you’re hungry.  The salad that you had for lunch at 12:30 was pretty filling, but now you’re starting to fantasize about delicious desserts and juicy sandwiches. It’s too early … Continue reading

A 21st Birthday to Remember…

Follow my blog with Bloglovin It’s official. Fall is here, people. So pack up your bathing suits, bring out your box of boots and sweaters, and hunker down under a fleece blanket. Since you’re now hopefully in “fall-mode” after following … Continue reading

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 Summer’s Final Chapter

This blog post is a little bit different and a lot more special.  This is because, as I head off to school today, I am finally able to reflect upon the last 3 months, outlining the stress and uncertainties I … Continue reading

The Perfect Paleo Pancakes

This weekend, I finally achieved pancake perfection. Fluffy, heavenly, delightful, pancake perfection.  But before I share the secret recipe with you, I will quickly detail the events leading up to this delicious discovery.

This past week was filled with work, job interviews, school preparation, workouts, and overall stress. But the one thing getting me through it all, was knowing that on Friday night, I could climb into bed and turn off my alarm.  Finally, a morning where I could sleep past 8am – maybe even 9am if I was feeling adventurous. This sleep-in excitement must have gotten the best of me, though, because at 6:45 Saturday morning I found myself lying in bed, wide awake, going over my plans for the rest of the day in my head.  So my hope of a sleep-filled morning was an ultimate fail — but I wasn’t going to allow the rest of the day to be! My early rise quickly led to a beautiful morning hike with my mom at Soldier’s Delight, and a chance to finally prepare the proper breakfast that I had been waiting all summer to make, pancakes. 

I found a pancake recipe in a paleo cookbook that I had checked out from the library (surprise, right?), and decided to give it a try. Although I don’t follow a paleo diet, there are many aspects of the “caveman diet” that I agree with, and I thought that looking over the book would be a great way to find some simple, healthy recipes to cook while at school this semester.  And naturally, the pancake recipe needed to be my first paleo experiment. Since I didn’t have all of the ingredients that the recipe called for, I decided to take a chance and add my own twist to these plain pancakes — and the result was definitely worth it. Also, despite the elaborate alliteration you will discover in the title, this recipe was very simple and only took a total of 15 total minutes in prep and cook-time.

Paleo-Pecan Pancake Perfection

  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of flax meal
  • large handful of whole pecans
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

And because my creative juices continued to flow, I added a sauce to drizzle over these awesome cakes…

Peach-Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 peach
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Combine almond meal, flax meal, salt, baking soda, and pecans in food processor and pulse
  2. Add eggs, vinegar, agave, and coconut oil to mixture in food processor and blend until thoroughly combined
  3. Spread spoonful of coconut oil over griddle or stove-top pan on medium heat
  4. Use 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake
  5. Flip ’em
  6. Make Sauce (combine all ingredients in blender)
  7. Plate 2-4 pancakes and drizzle sauce over top!

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I added some shredded coconut, extra blueberries, and peach slices to top off my pancake masterpiece, so feel free to be creative. The recipe makes about 12 good-size pancakes, depending on how big you prefer them. There is also plenty of sauce to save for later that you could drizzle over a parfait or cereal. Or you could just pour it in a glass and drink it like I did this morning.

I am already dubbing this pancake recipe as a staple in my college diet because, for some reason, I feel like pancake brunches on our lazy weekend mornings might be something that my roommates will approve of? Just a guess. I only have one more week until I go back to school, so I need to perfect my cooking skills before then… and I think this was a good start!