Recipe- Good Morning Green Smoothie

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Hey Cats!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Mostly because if I don’t eat it, I become irrationally hungry at around 9 am. For the longest time, I thought that I could never have “just” a smoothie for breakfast. “I need to EAT something, not drink it through a straw!”, I exclaimed. Well, a few weeks ago my friend Ashley Snapchatted (Verbs of 2016) me her green smoothie and something came over me like a wave of healthiness: I had to try it. So I tweaked her recipe a bit and now it’s my breakfast every day! This is a great way to make sure you get at least some fruits & veggies in your diet each day, and it’s a healthy way to start your morning!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-1/2 cup soymilk

-1 handful of spinach leaves

-1 whole banana, sliced

-1/4 cup pineapple (I buy the pre-cut chunks from the produce section and just throw a few in!)

-1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds

-1/2 tablespoon of almond butter

Here’s what you do:

  1. Load everything into your blender in the order listed. It’s best to have the more dense ingredients closest to the blade so you’re not left with big chunks! I use a single-serving blender similar to this one, so I start with the soymilk and work my way down!
  2. Blend it up until it’s smooth and enjoy!

This takes me about 3 minutes every morning, and it’s so delicious! At first I was just blending the milk, spinach, and fruit, but I was noticing that I would get really tired throughout the day, so I added the almond butter for protein! You can change this up any way you choose: my friend Ashley uses mango instead of banana, or you could add berries or use a protein powder. The possibilities are endless! Let me know what your favorite green smoothie recipe is!

That’s all for meow!

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Recipe- Egg-in-a-Hole Avocado Toast

Hey Cats!

I’m getting a bit of a late start this week with the blog posts-sorry! I had every intention of posting on Monday, but I got home later than I had hoped on Sunday night, and it just didn’t happen. Also, HEB was closed for Easter, which honestly sent me into sheer panic. I had to go to Kroger and could not find brussels sprouts and nearly lost it. But I digress.

Today, I’m sharing one of my latest breakfast favorites with you. I got on an avocado toast kick a few weeks ago, and one Saturday morning when I had some extra time, I decided to kick it up a bit. Take it to the next level. Pretend I am the Pioneer Woman (that happens every time I cook, but whatever). I made an egg-in-a-hole, and smeared avocado on top. Yaaaas.

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Here’s what you need:

-2 slices of bread. You can definitely use plain sandwich bread, but I bought whole-grain seedy bread from the bakery section, because it’s extra delicious.

-2 eggs (or one per slice of bread if you’re making less or more!)

-1/2 avocado, mashed

-Sriracha to taste

Here’s what you’ll do:

1. First, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and either melt a tablespoon of butter or spray with cooking spray.

2. While the butter is melting, prepare the bread by cutting out a hole in the center of the slice. You can brown the excess or just go ahead and eat it (that’s what I do).

3. Next, place the bread in the skillet. I like to put one side down and then flip it so each side is buttery!

4. Then, break an egg into the hole of each slice of bread. It will probably ooze out of the edges, but that’s okay!

5. Let the egg cook for a while, then flip to cook the other side! Warning-this is difficult and messy, but if I can do it, you definitely can too! Just use your largest spatula and both hands.

6. Cook until the whites are set, flipping again if necessary.

7. After the eggs are done, in a small bowl mash up half an avocado. I use about 1/2 of an avocado per two slices.

8. Smear a thick but even layer of avocado on each piece of egg toast. Be generous, avocado is the good fat! Apparently.

9. Drizzle with sriracha for a kick! Another option is crushed red pepper, but I love how the sriracha literally sets my lips on fire.

10. Enjoy!

I love the combination of the creamy egg yolk, crisp bread, and smooth avocado. So yum! Give this a try the next time you’re craving a healthy, savory breakfast, and if you do, let me know how you like it!

That’s all for meow!

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Recipe-Broccoli Cheese Quinoa Cups

Hey Cats!

When it comes to planning ahead, sometimes I’m really on top of things, and sometimes I find myself winging it. Actually, that’s most of the time. One instance in which I have found myself without a plan and in a pickle is when it’s 8:34 and I’m pouring my coffee to-go thinking, “I should already be in the car, and also what am I having for lunch today?” Granted, there are a few fast food restaurants within walking distance of my office, so it’s not like I’ll starve or anything, but I like to bring my lunch as often as I can, because getting lunch every day can get pretty expensive, and I can only eat so much Chick Fil A before I start to feel like an actual chicken nugget. So more often than not, I’ll throw some quick items into my lunch box and hope for the best. This can include at least three of the following: a cheese stick, packaged crackers, almonds, fruit snacks, or yogurt. I realized that this was an issue when I opened my lunchbox one day to find yogurt, a cheese stick, and cheese sandwich crackers. Straight diary. Whoops.

I decided that the challenge was to make or find something healthy that I could throw into my lunchbox when I was already running late. I also wanted something that wasn’t too expensive and wouldn’t make my grocery list excessively long. Quinoa, my favorite superfood was on the forefront of my mind, since I had recently made pizza quinoa bites for lunch. But I was out of pepperoni and Parmesan. Then I found the broccoli, and this recipe was born!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

-2 cups of cooked quinoa (1 cup dry)

-2 eggs

-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-1/2 cup fresh broccoli, finely chopped.

Here’s what you’ll do:

First, cook your quinoa. You can make it just for this recipe, or this is a great way to use leftovers!

Next, mix in the eggs, cheese, and broccoli until fully incorporated. For the broccoli, make sure you chop it into very tiny pieces. I did not, and didn’t love the taste of biting into a broccoli tree. I also removed most of the larger stems.

After it’s all mixed together, scoop into a greased muffin tin. If you fill each one about 3/4 of the way full, you should be able to make a dozen!

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until set. The egg should be completely cooked but still a bit fluffy, with kind of a quiche-like texture.

Optional: top each bite with a sprinkle of cheese and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Simple, right? I divided them into portions of 3, so I had lunch for 4 days! I placed each portion in a Ziploc bag and stuck them all in the freezer door. I zapped them for about 45-60 seconds at work for a yummy, healthy lunch! You can also bring marinara sauce to dip them in for a little more zest. This takes about 45 minutes on a Sunday afternoon, and you’ll have lunch for (nearly) the whole week!

That’s all for meow!

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Recipe-Pizza Spaghetti Squash Boats

Hey Cats!

We’ve talked about how eating healthy was a big part of my life when I was in college, but unfortunately, I have fallen off the wagon since graduation. For some reason it has been extra hard to cook every night, so when I find healthy recipes that I love, I hang on to them!

I have a love-hate relationship with spaghetti squash. It usually sounds like a good idea at the grocery store, but then once I get home I realize that it’s a lot of trouble, and until now, I didn’t have a super delicious way to prepare it. A few weeks ago I was pushing my cart through Trader Joe’s and saw a spaghetti squash. “I haven’t made one of those in YEARS”, I said to myself, and tossed it in my basket without another thought. Then I got home and it was staring at me, asking me, “now what? Please not just garlic powder and cheese”. So I had to get creative. I scrolled through Pinterest for some inspiration, and came up with this pizza-inspired twice-baked squash.

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Here’s what you will need:

-1 spaghetti squash

-1 cup marinara sauce

-1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

-1 tbsp olive oil

-salt, pepper, and garlic & onion powder to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. First, prepare your spaghetti squash. There are a few ways to do this, but you’ll want to cut it in half lengthwise and cook it in the oven for optimum boat shape. Be careful while cutting it, it’s a dangerous task, especially if you only have steak knives. Anyways, bake at 400 degrees for 30-45 minutes, or until it is soft to the touch.
  2. Once the squash is cooked, scrape the “noodles” of one half into a mixing bowl. You can prepare both, but this recipe is for those of us cooking for one! I wrapped the other half in foil and stuck it in the fridge for another day, and just followed the same recipe!
  3. Mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder into the squash.
  4. Then, mix in 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce and 1/4 cup of the cheese.
  5. Next, spoon the squash mixture back into the shell.
  6. Top with the remaining sauce and cheese, and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbly!
  7. Enjoy your boat!

This is a yummy, healthy dinner that’s pretty filling and will make you feel great about yourself. Unless you go overboard on the cheese, which is understandable. Plus, if you’re cooking for only yourself, you have dinner for two nights! Spaghetti squash might just be my friend after all.

After-Work Snack: Whole Grain & Hummus

Hey Cats!

After putting it off for an embarrassing amount of weekends, I cleaned my entire apartment last night. It smells super clean and now I don’t want to touch anything for like three weeks. Love that so much. What I don’t love is that I was trying to FINALLY find out who A is on PLL (I mean, I know who it is, because no one can keep a secret, but I need to know the whole story), and my TV just freaked out and froze with 15 minutes left in the episode, and I couldn’t finish it. I have been waiting over 5 years for this. I can’t even. But I digress.

The past few days when I’ve come home from work, I have been wanting something different for a snack. I found this SkinnyGirl lime popcorn that I really love, but a lot of the time I’m not hungry enough for a whole bag of popcorn. I also bought the most delicious hummus from Kroger the other day to spread on my wraps for lunch. I ran around the entire store like a crazy person looking for it, and while I was doing that I decided that it was the most poorly-organized grocery store I had ever set foot in, and vowed never to return. But I probably will, because that hummus is really good. Anyways, I wanted some hummus, but I didn’t have anything to dip in it. Until I remembered my whole grain tortillas that I bought to make wraps for lunch. I cut one into wedges, baked it, and boom! Instant whole grain chips and hummus!

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Also, how cutie is this little red ramekin? My mom got me a set of four for my birthday and I love them- they’re great for so many different things! Now obviously, this isn’t exactly a recipe because homemade tortilla chips are by no means a new concept. But if you’re looking for a healthy snack and don’t have a lot on hand, this is a great option! Just cut a tortilla into wedges or strips (wedges is easier!), place on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes, or until crispy! I always buy whole wheat tortillas because it seems like the healthiest option, and I actually really love them in chip form, too! They taste almost like a pita chip, but not as salty, and they have a lighter crisp rather than a crunch. I’m probably going to run out of both tortillas and hummus doing this, but it’s so delicious! Have a wonderful pre-Friday, everyone!

That’s all for meow!

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Recipe- Tangy Summer Salad with Salmon

Hey Cats!

Happy Wednesday! This week is both flying and crawling at the same time, if that’s possible. I’ve been trying to eat healthier lately, but it’s also SO HOT in Houston that just the thought of turning the stove on makes me sweat. I typically make a pizza or other fun dinner for myself on the weekend, but after laying out at the pool all day Saturday, I needed something light, but obviously still delicious and filling. So I decided to combine a citrus salmon recipe that I love with a homemade version of my favorite Salata salad. And it was so good I made it without the salmon for lunch until I ran out of kale.

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Okay first we need to address this MASSIVE salmon plank. I asked for 4oz, and the little fishmonger just haphazardly whacked off a chunk, weighed it to get the price, and wrapped it up without noticing that it was 6oz. I’m fine with more fish, but I also had to pay more for it, which I wasn’t too pleased about. Also, it was so large that it just fell apart when I tried to plate it, so that’s why it looks kind of sad. But hey, I did the best I could and it’s delicious so that’s all that matters, right?

Here’s what you’ll need:

-1 serving of Honey Garlic Lemon Salmon– this recipe from The Whisking Kitchen is SO good!

-1 cup kale, rinsed and chopped

-1/4 cup fresh spinach, chopped

-3-4 large brussels sprouts, grated or finely chopped

-1 small granny smith apple, thinly sliced or diced

-1/4 cup cooked quinoa

-2 tbsp pine nuts

-2-3 tbsp goat cheese (feel free to go crazy here, I sure did)

-lemon vinaigrette dressing- I used Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Lemon, in the refrigerated section.

Here’s what you do:

1. First, prepare the salmon. It has to marinate for at least 30 minutes, so plan for that. ALSO cook it on a foil-lined pan, because I cannot tell you how long it took me to scrub the burnt honey off my pan.

2. Finely chop the kale and spinach and add to a very large mixing bowl.

3. Add the brussels sprouts, apple, and quinoa and toss.

4. Next, add the pine nuts, cheese, and dressing. Toss until everything is fully coated with dressing. I usually just pour my dressing over the top, but tossing your salad ensures every bite is tasty!

5. Serve your salad with your salmon on top, and enjoy!

What’s your favorite light summer meal? Let me know!

 

That’s all for meow!

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WorkIt Wednesday- 3 Step Breakfast Bowls

Hey Cats!

Happy Wednesday! You know what that means- we’ve made it halfway through the week! It also means WorkIt Wednesday is back. I’m going to be honest, I have not been working it lately. I’ve just been super tired and not feeling like going to the gym, and I haven’t been eating very well. But, it’s time to get back on track! I’ve fallen off the wagon quite a few times in my day, and I’ve found that the easiest way to get back on is to start at the beginning (breakfast) and work up from there. I usually just eat Greek yogurt for breakfast, but sometimes that gets boring, and I get REALLY hungry/hangry at around 10 am, leading me to break into my lunch at the first acceptable moment (11 am), which means I’m starving again by 5, and come home and eat everything I see. Which is obviously incongruent to my goals. After seeing these on Pinterest, I decided to make my own version of a protein-packed breakfast bowl. I’ve made a few different varieties, and have devised a simple 3-step formula for the perfect bowl.

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1. Base-start with a single-serving cup of your favorite flavor of yogurt. I usually use coconut Chobani, but they were out, so I settled for plain. Sometimes I will mix a tablespoon of peanut butter in with the yogurt to add a little extra protein and flavor!

2. Make it sweet- For me, this is a drizzle of honey, but you could use agave nectar, stevia, or just leave it plain if you’re using a flavored yogurt.

3. Add the extras-I usually add 1/4 cup of quinoa and some type of fruit, but you could add nuts, granola, or even chocolate chips to make it interesting!

How easy is that? 1,2,3, breakfast! Here are a few of my favorite combos:

-Coconut Chobani mixed with peanut butter, quinoa, a drizzle of honey, and a handful of raspberries

-Plain Greek yogurt, quinoa, a drizzle of honey, a few halved cherries, and chocolate chips (pictured above)

-Peach yogurt, quinoa, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkling of toasted almonds and granola

If you come up with a new combo, let me know- I would love to try it! This is an easy way to have a healthy breakfast to help you power through your day, and it’s completely flexible to accommodate your tastes.

That’s all for meow!

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WorkIt Wednesday- My Country Workout Playlist

Hey Cats!

It’s Hump Day! And this week’s Pre-Friday since it’s a short week for most of us. And it’s payday, which is exciting but we’re not going to talk about how I’ve already spent 1/4 of my July shopping budget online at JCrew Factory last night, but we will talk about how all of the clearance was an extra 50% off and I got some great deals, so it’s not thaaaaat bad.

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Anyways, WorkIt Wednesday is a (not-so-regular) series where I like to share my tips and tidbits that help me personally live a healthier lifestyle, in hopes that it helps you, too! Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite workout playlists. You may remember my Power Playlist from a few months back. That’s what I listen to when I’m really needing some motivation to get through my ab circuit. However, sometimes I’m just not in the mood for pop music- I want something a little calmer, but still upbeat. I love country music in general, but a lot of it is too slow to listen to while I work out..it doesn’t really keep me moving. Recently, I’ve put together a few of my favorite country songs that help me keep the pace!


An easy way to shake up your workout is just change your music! If you’re a country music fan like me and are wanting a bit of a different sound for your afternoon treadmill trot, give this playlist a try and let me know how you like it!

That’s all for meow!

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Recipe-Baked Egg & Broiled Grapefruit Breakfast

Hey Cats!

It’s class day for me! I love only having school two days a week because it gives me the illusion that I have copious amounts of free time, but it’s a little hard to switch gears every day! I’m hoping that I will get used to it soon. Per usual, I’m trying to start the semester off strong by staying on top of my work, which is going surprisingly well- mostly because I know I’m going out of town this weekend and I’ll have to finish my online assignments before the weekend if I’m going to get them in on time! So we’ll see how long this lasts.

One thing I like about my schedule this semester is that I have time on the days I go to work to take my time in the morning. I can blog a little, maybe have two cups of coffee, and cook breakfast if I wake up early enough! Most important is cooking breakfast, obviously. I have a new favorite recipe that I’ll be sharing with you today. I made it almost every day over Christmas break, and it’s just soooooo good.

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Something about baking an egg makes it extra delicious. And you can add lots of toppings to make it even better! Here’s what you need:

-1 egg

-spices of your choice (see below for my favorite combos!)

-Cheese of your choice

Here’s what you do:

1. First, pre-heat your oven to 350.

2. Spray a ramekin, coffee mug, or muffin tin with cooking spray. I prefer using a ramekin, but we don’t have any at my apartment, so I experimented with both a coffee mug and a muffin tin. The coffee mug made me nervous and got super hot, so I think the muffin tin is the way to go. Plus, if you want to make more than one, it would work well!

3. Crack an egg into the ramekin. Season with salt & pepper.

4. Next, add your spices and cheese. Here are a few of my favorites:

-dill and parmesan cheese

-sriracha or hot sauce and cheddar cheese

-crushed red pepper flakes and cheddar cheese

5. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the egg is cooked all the way through. Sometimes I like my yolk a little undercooked, but you should definitely make sure the white is cooked through. You may have to poke through the cheese, but please make sure it’s safe to eat- I don’t need to feel guilty about any of you contracting salmonella.

6. Enjoy!

You’ll also notice that there’s a broiled grapefruit in the photo. This is a great addition to a balanced meal, not to mention it’s really yummy. Here’s what you need:

-1 medium grapefruit

-1-2 tablespoons brown sugar

Here’s what you’ll do:

1. Set your oven to High Broil.

2. Cut your grapefruit in half and place cut-side up in a pan (I just use a circular cake pan).

3. Sprinkle a little brown sugar on each half. I use closer to 2 tablespoons, and I like to make sure it’s spread evenly over the flesh of the fruit.

4. Broil for 3-5 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbly. Just be sure to keep an eye on it, it burns very quickly!

5. Enjoy!

Honestly, I probably wouldn’t make both of these things on a school morning- this is more of a Saturday breakfast. But you should definitely try it out! And if you think of any other cheese/spice combos for the eggs, let me know- I’m always looking to switch it up!

That’s all for meow!

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WorkIt Wednesday- Back To School Shopping List

Hey Cats!

I’m back in Aggieland! I drove in yesterday, so I could get back into the swing of things and work a little before school starts on Monday. I cannot believe it’s my last semester of college! I feel like my parents just left me at my dorm as a freshman…but that’s a sappy blog post for another day. Anyways, I was supposed to go to the grocery store when I got in yesterday afternoon, but after unloading my car and seeing that unpacking was going to be quite the task, I decided to get Chipotle and watch The Bachelor with my roommates instead. (also I’m actually terrified of Ashley S. That is all.) So I get to go after work today-yay!

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from adopting a healthy lifestyle, it’s that exercise definitely gives you results, but eating right is crucial to looking and feeling better. You know that saying “when you eat crap, you feel like crap”? It’s true. Growing up I hated vegetables and looooooved junk food. My mom always made healthy meals and limited my junk food intake, but I still would have rather had ice cream as opposed to an apple. When I first got to college, I had really bad eating habits when I was living in the dorm. They improved a bit once I moved off-campus and had a kitchen, but my idea of a balanced meal was chicken, rice, and some frozen corn I zapped in the microwave. Okay, but not the best. Over the summer, I started trying new recipes I would find on Pinterest, or get from my sister, and started to cut down on processed food and snacks like chips, crackers, and sweets. I felt so much better, and I know it’s because I was putting good fuel into my body. Unfortunately, I got a little off track over Christmas break, but tomorrow’s grocery store trip should help! Here is my shopping list to prepare for the semester- since I didn’t go today, it’s tentative, but if I pick up something extra, I’ll be sure to add it!

grocery shopping

Breakfast:

-Coffee (because I woke up this morning and realized I didn’t have any…#dead)

-Greek yogurt (my favorite is Chobani coconut!)

-Almond milk coffee creamer (my latest obsession- thanks mom!)

-soy milk

-sack of grapefruit or cuties (whichever is cheaper)

-eggs

Lunch

-Salad stuff:

-romaine hearts

-cherry tomatoes

-kale (this is a maybe…I’ll have to price it!)

-carrots (also tentative)

-slivered almonds

-ham lunch meat

-Salad dressing (current favorite: Olive Garden- SO good!)

-Soup-to-go

-Applesauce cups (hi, I’m five)

-Fruit snacks (not super healthy, but I can’t give up everything)

-Flour tortillas (if I want a wrap instead of a salad)

Snacks

-Cheese sticks

-Green juice

-Snack crackers (probs Goldfish- another thing I can’t live without)

Dinner

-Quinoa (duh)

-Brussels sprouts

-Frozen chicken breasts

Miscellaneous 

-Shredded cheddar cheese

-Shredded Parmesan cheese

-Lemon juice

-Olive oil

I know this list seems a little short, and you probably are thinking I’m crazy specific with my meals. But, I have some staples on hand, and plan on mixing things up! A lot of the items under “Lunch” will definitely be used for dinner as well, and I usually eat fruit or popcorn that I already have for snacks, which is why that section is so small! However, if you’re wanting to start healthy eating habits, this is a good list to work off of!

What’s on your healthy grocery list? Let me know!

That’s all for meow!

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