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Foodie Friday: Caprese Salad with Roasted Beets

Welcome to our weekly Foodie Friday link up! I’m linking up with Montana from Pretty Lil Mudder, Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats, and Esther from Chocolate Runner Girl to create awesome healthy recipes each week! Today’s theme is Perfect Picnic (since summer is great for enjoying picnics + the awesome weather :D ). Make sure you hop around to check out all the amazing recipes in this link up and feel free to add your recipes as well!

I’m generally not a fan of turning on my oven in the summer, but my spoils of war from my midnight raid were calling. I needed to find a use for the beets, beet greens, tomatoes, and fresh basil, so I decided to do a little twist on one of my favorite salads. However, it kinda sucks to turn on your oven just for the sake of roasting one beet, so you can either make them in bulk, or if you have any other veggies you’d like to roast, they might as well join in on the fun! (I roasted several eggplants + 2 beets. To save time while I was waiting for those to be done, I prepared the rest of the salad and also made a beet green + egg scramble.)

Caprese Salad with Roasted Beets

This (obviously) isn’t the whole recipe. I was trying to artfully arrange a small portion of it, but pretty much gave up. :x

Ingredients:
-2 large tomatoes, sliced
-1 large beet
-fresh mozzarella, shredded
-fresh basil, shredded
-generous drizzle of EVOO
-generous drizzle of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
-freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) Cover beets in aluminum foil and drizzle with red wine or balsamic vinegar and EVOO. Let it hang out in the oven for ~1 hour.
3) Slice tomatoes and shred mozzarella + basil into a bowl/plate.
4) When beets are done roasting, dice them and let cool, then add to the other ingredients and mix well.
5) Sprinkle with pepper and serve!

This is the rest of it (with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and…without the beet because I hadn’t diced it yet)!


 


Interested in getting to know more about any of your super-awesome co-hosts? :]

Together, our first initials could spell out E-FAME. heh heh heh.

(…Alright, I’ll show myself the door. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Next week’s theme is smoothies! Hope you’ll join us!)

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Almond Pancake

I’m still [more or less] in the midst of unpacking everything, so cooking hasn’t been happening anywhere as often as I’d like. (That coupled with illness and an actual set schedule for the first time in 2 years takes some getting used to! I got spoiled with the whole mostly-not-mandatory-attendance thing.)

In my laziest moments, it’s invariably either my rice cooker or my crockpot that ends up coming to the rescue. Today, it’s my rice cooker. :] You may have seen this idea on lifehacker at some point in time. I’ve been meaning to expand on the whole rice cooker cake idea for a while now, so what better time to start than now? This is not in plural form because one giant pancake is probably more than enough. :O

(Chocolate Banana) Almond Pancake

Ingredients:
-Namaste Foods gluten-free pancake/waffle mix (it was on manager’s special for $2 at Kroger!)
-2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
-2 eggs
-3 tbsp almond powder*
-1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
*obtained from an Asian market (ingredients: almond powder, almond oil, cornstarch, sugar)

Instructions:
1) Mix everything together until no longer lumpy.
2) Cook in rice cooker for ~45 minutes! (I set it to the “cake” function on mine.)
3) Top with desired toppings (honey, maple syrup, fresh fruit, etc.) and serve.

For the record, I used a chocolate bourbon sauce + sliced bananas to top mine. Those pretty much cancelled out any almond-ness I could’ve tasted, but you can still smell its essence! :]

…It’s pretty much a cake!

(Also linked up on this week’s Delicious Dish Tuesday! Button is on the sidebar! :)

Recipe ReDux: Citrus Chia Pudding

A Spirited ReDux: From plain Jane vanilla extract to fancy-pants elderflower liqueur, we like to keep a little liquor in the kitchen. Show us how you like to cook, bake or mix-it-up with spirits, extracts and other alcohols. A splash of vodka makes summer sauces shine – and liqueurs brighten desserts: What’s your healthy recipe with spirit?

I’m about 1/3 of the way through with moving to a neighboring state right now, so all my kitchen utensils, ingredients, etc. are partially here and partially there. I’ve actually been surviving on fruit, smoothies, free lunches from orientation (+ leftovers from said orientation lunches), and protein bars for the past 1.5 weeks, because…not only am I in the middle of a move–I also happened to lose my wallet somewhere in the mess, so I have no credit cards/debit cards to speak of (they’re in transit, I hope)! Yayyy… My new location actually has my bank in the state! There’s only 1 branch (which is still an improvement from none), but it’s 5 hours away, so clearly, I’m not going there. Life has been interesting.

Before all of this happened, I had these grand aspirations to unearth the super awesome vanilla extract I obtained from my medical service trip to the Dominican Republic, but that’s…somewhere in the basement(?) at the moment. (Using the shaoxing cooking wine I managed to find at the local(!) Asian market was also a thought, but I’m not sure that counts as a liquor since it’s wine? …Can you tell that I don’t drink?)

Anyway, this is what I came up with yesterday night when I finally got back to location #1. This is more on the tart side of the spectrum, so feel free to sweeten with honey, agave nectar, maple syrup…whatever your choice of sweetener happens to be! :]

Citrus Chia Pudding

Ingredients:
-1/4 cup chia seeds
-2/3 cup orange juice
-1/2 tsp orange extract
-1/2 tsp pineapple extract
-fresh or frozen fruit, diced (optional; I used cherries + blueberries)

Instructions:
1) Pour chia seeds into a cup or bowl.
2) Stir together the orange juice, orange and pineapple extracts. Pour over chia seeds and stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least wait for it to soak for ~30 minutes!).
3) Top with fruit and mix!


As the first and only recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians, The Recipe ReDux aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover. Thank you for visiting. We hope you enjoy!

(Please note that this is a closed link-up for Recipe ReDux Contest entries only. Any links added to this collection for non-ReDux posts will be deleted.)

Recipe Showcase (Spill It, Sundays)

I believe this is the last of the your-own-posts Spill It, Sundays, so I’m leaving you with these three! I’ve been blogging less recently because of orientation, moving, not having internet (etc.). I’ve actually run out of scheduled posts (noooo!) for the time being, so getting everything written months ahead again is going to be somewhat difficult, what with another exam coming up, more moving (I’m still only 1/3 of the way moved in), and [hopefully, assuming that all goes well…] rotations starting up. In short, life has been pretty hectic.

The internet was supposed to get set up yesterday, but the people never showed up despite 2 earlier confirmations that they would, and never picked up the phone during/after the window of time they said they’d arrive in, so we’ve blacklisted them for the time being. In the meantime, I’m borrowing my neighbor’s wireless because he’s a wonderful and super-nice soul. :D (For serious, he met up with me yesterday for 2.5 hours to give me advice on my upcoming year.) My friends here all seem to have disappeared off the face of the earth, so I’ve been feeling rather alone and would love to head back to WV, but can’t because of the whole internet situation (the company I called is supposed to come on Monday morning).

Since I neglected to bring any of my pots/pans/utensils with me and canceled all my credit cards (my wallet’s probably “lost” in one of those boxes), I’ve been living on fruit, smoothies, free lunches, and leftovers from said free lunches for the past week. :O I’ve also been partaking in the free fitness classes offered at my hospital’s gym, and the ones I’ve done so far (Zumba with weights + one that’s akin to Insanity but with fun music) have made me realize that I have pretty much lost any endurance that I may have at one point possessed. This is really saddening and needs to change. D:

Palmieres with Sun-dried Tomatoes

Avocado Pesto

薑汁撞奶 (Ginger Milk Custard)


The Big Man's World

Copycat Orange Berry Blitz

Jamba Juice and I go way back. My favorite female cousin introduced me to the place when I was about 12-13 and treated both me and my brother to whatever we wanted there. The two of us have extremely similar tastes in food, which rears its ugly head most often at sushi buffets, because without fail, one of us will pick up pile on pieces of sushi onto our plate in the exact order that the other would’ve taken them. It’s a good thing he’s one of my best friends. :O But back to my derailed story, we both ended up picking Orange Zinger (now known as Orange Berry Blitz and also no longer on the menu, although if you ask, they usually know how to make it).

It was love at first cup, and although I’ve since tried a bunch of the other flavors, Orange Berry Blitz will always be my favorite.

This is, of course, before I moved to a land where it doesn’t exist (alright, fine, the closest one is 107.22 miles away–yes, I really did just check) and also stopped being able to afford $5+ drinks (I miss when they were ~$3.50; those were the days!). As with most things in life, I’ve learned to make do with what I have.

Whilst boards-studying earlier this month, I was making a smoothie for myself. As per usual, I was trying to use up ingredients in the fridge, and bam! A wayyyy cheaper and healthier version of my favorite drink was born. It was a happy accident, and now that I’ve found the ingredients for the real thing, it makes sense why the taste is so similar. :] I threw in protein powder (think of it as one of their protein “boosts”!), but that’s entirely up to you.

I unfortunately didn’t think to take a picture of the first one I made (well, I did, but more on that later, I guess), so that first one actually came out looking way more similar than the one I actually took a picture of (the pineapple-mango-strawberry ratio in the bag I used wasn’t entirely even). This makes a gigantic cup! (I poured it into a mason jar so it’d look a little more presentable.)

Copycat Orange Berry Blitz

Ingredients:
-1 1/2 cups Private Selection Tropical Smoothie Blend (Kroger’s fancy way of saying pineapples, mangos + strawberries)
-1/2 cup frozen blueberries
-1/2 cup Fage Greek yogurt
-1 cup orange juice
-1 scoop unflavored protein powder

Instructions:
1) Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth!

Peppermint Patty, that’s not for you!

This is why I couldn’t really showcase the first one I made. :/ This is all that was left by the time I thought about taking a picture.