Happy Monday! Or, I hope it was a happy one for you :) I didn’t mention this on the blog last week, but after returning from California, I was bed ridden for two days with a fever. I had to cancel all my clients on Thursday and call in sick to the running store. The last thing I wanted to do was sit in a nutrition course aaaallll weekend as I felt like junk. But today I woke up feeling mysteriously better! And I worked out for the first time in five days. Good times. Depending on your perspective.
Remember this photo of me elated inside of a Trader Joe’s?
Well here are the goods:
Almond Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds (crunchy & salted) + Sunflower Seed Butter (aka sunflower seed crack)
I’ve been eating these by using one of my favourite ways to eat nut butter… on oatmeal!
Cathy was gracious enough to send me to California with samples of Simply Bars. Including their new protein oatmeal. Instant oatmeal with a light strawberry flavouring, bulked up with their signature protein-packed puffed soy.
First I ate it hot. With yogurt stirred in and topped with TJ’s almond butter and maple syrup.
I must say, I do not like this almond butter as much as Naturally More. It can do better.
Next up is the sunflower seed butter.
I ate this with the Simply Bar raw oatmeal, stirred in with cold yogurt, cinnamon and grapes.
My heart will always belong to TJs sunflower seed butter. So smooth and creamy, with the perfect amount of salt and sweet to cut off the bitter edge of sunflower seeds. Yumm-o.
I roasted a chicken last week, seasoned with this stuff, as well as sprinkling it on the roast veggies.
A picture of how I utilized some of the leftovers – in a pita of course!
For fun, I added another TJs goody to the sandwich.
I love this salsa! Because of my pineapple allergy, I can’t eat a lot of fruit salsas. But this stuff is pineapple-free. I’ve been eating it with carrots too, and the sweet undertones of the salsa pair perfectly with the sweet raw carrots.
I of course had to pick up a couple of my favourite bars ever.
Yup, Clif Mojo in Peanut Butter Pretzel is my favourite tasting bar ever!
I used to be addicted to those “Sweet n’ Salty” bars. Well this is like those, but a million times better. Real hunks of pretzel, peanut butter chips and peanut chunks to make the flavour pop. The texture is the perfect mix of crispy and chewy. I’m glad I only bought two of these, as I’m pretty sure I could find an excuse to eat one with every meal :P
Speaking of which…
Don’t buy these.
Peanut butter filled pretzels are no good.
And by “no good” I mean “so delicious” that you won’t be able to stop eating them until the bag is gone. Ohmy. You’ve been warned.
I didn’t leave San Francisco with just Trader Joe’s goodies! My bloggie friends hooked me up too!
At Friday night’s welcoming reception, we all participated in a foodie gift exchange. I totally copped out by giving away a jar of maple butter. I immediately felt bad once I was paired up with a local San Franciscan who hooked me up.
Peet’s Coffee holiday blend because Peet’s started in San Fran.
Then a cone and filters to make my coffee with!
Easiest process of making coffee yet. All you gotta do is heat water until just boiling. Add your coffee to the paper filter, and pour the water over top to let it drain through.
Voila. Delicious coffee almost instantly. Apparently this is the best way to have it. I can’t judge yet because the Peet’s coffee is so much better than the cheap stuff I usually buy!
My roommies in San Fran were also quite generous. Janetha brought us all homemade trail mix including her mom’s homemade dried apples. Also included almonds, cranberries, rolled dates and dark chocolate chips.
I gobbled this up. Such a good mix and flavour combo! Props to Momma B for her dehydrating skillz ;)
We also got some reeeeally good dried fruit in our swag bags.
I didn’t quite get why everyone was raving about the Frog Hollow pears that were available all weekend. But these dried peaches are top notch. A million times better than any ole’ dried apricot.
Of course, I returned back to Canada with pounds of Ghirardelli chocolate.
I’m a pretty faithful Lindt or Ritter Sport girl, but this Luxe Milk Almond may convert me.
I have half a square left. I think I have to eat it after looking at this picture.
Danica hooked me up with a plethora of Annie’s goodies. I haven’t come close to eating my way through them yet, but I am really enjoying them! We don’t get a lot of Annie’s products here.
I’m a candy fiend, so these Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks are perfectly portioned to nip that sweet tooth, without all the crummy ingredients of the other stuff.
Was most excited to try the Annie’s Shells.
Their take on Kraft Dinner. Which Kraft just calls “Macaroni & Cheese” in the States. Weird. Anyways, while I’m not a huge pasta fan, I grew up eating Kraft Dinner and will always have a soft spot for this comfort food!
I cooked it using almond milk. Plumped it up with a couple cans of tuna and frozen veggies. As well as a small handful of shredded mozzarella for added cheesiness.
LOVED. Plain and simple. The end.
I do believe that is enough food for one evening. If you don’t mind, there’s a half square of Ghirardelli in the fridge calling my name ;)
Question of the Day: What is your most favourite recent food buy? Pretty sure all of mine are displayed here :)
Aahhh… you know what is even worse than a Sunday evening? The Monday after a long weekend. Three days is enough to completely check out of real life. Having to face it again on a Monday night is always a rude awakening!
Another bummer is the fact that I am out of Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter. Sound the alarms. This is an emergency situation.
I stuffed the near-empty jar with cottage cheese, peaches, raisins, cinnamon, coconut flakes, raw oats and sugar-free syrup. I ended up putting my finger in there to ensure no seed butter remained. Then shed a single tear *sniff* Trader Joe’s needs to come to Canada.
I ended up spending aaallll morning in bed watching MTV shows on my computer and catching up on a few blogs. It was grand. Even though it’s a holiday, my gym is still open and I had a client who wanted to work out this afternoon. Not quite a holiday for me! Lunch before work:
Pan-fried ham slices with swiss cheese, sautéed red pepper, spinach, on an english muffin. Then squashed and melted in the hot pan. Not pictured is the plethora of baby carrots and salsa that accompanied this. Yum.
Thank goodness I had that client today though because it got me to the gym! I was definitely bit by the lazy bug today, but I still managed to squeeze out a decent back/biceps workout. I am really enjoying my new lifting split! I feel like my workouts are a lot more efficient. It’s easier to wrap things up in an hour when I only have two muscle groups to focus on.
Even though I am officially on a Buffalo detox, my day did involve a little more Blue Moon beer. (brought back across the border)
But not straight up. I had some flour and sugar with it.
Not separately, ohno.
Mixed all up in my roommate’s Kitchenaid mixer.
And placed into a bread pan.
You know where this is going ;)
3 cups of self-rising flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1 can or bottle of beer
mix ingredients and put in loaf pan
melt 1/2 stick of butter and pour over top
bake at 375 for 45 minutes!!
I used 1 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups whole wheat, then mixed in 3 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp salt because I didn’t have self-rising flour. Also, I definitely did not use that much butter – maybe like 2 tbsp ;)
Avec du beurre…
It turned out very dense and sweet.
I of course tried a piece right away with a little smear of Lori’s pear cranberry jam.
Good!! And SO easy!! Baking with yeast admittedly scares me, so the idea of pouring beer in sounded a lot more appealing. You really can’t pick up that much of a beer taste because of the sugar. Next time I want to try Guinness for the beer and molasses for the sweetener. So many possible combos!
I wasn’t just baking beer bread for the hell of it though. Something this good needs to be shared!
BBQ. Labour Day style.
This is not my backyard. My backyard is a parking lot. And there is a definite lack of bbq back there.
What is happening in these photos? I do believe it is a foot high five.
That girl on the left was in Schindler’s List. True story!
Seeing as I’m on a Buffalo detox, I made a point of keeping my bbq grub somewhat healthy.
Earlier in the day I threw together a pound of ground chicken with some chopped red pepper, spinach, a couple scoops of salsa and a few shakes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I formed the mix into patties and brought one of them to the bbq with me.
For veggies I put a chopped sweet potato on the ‘cue but I couldn’t finish it all. My chicken burger was too huge!
But there’s always room for dessert ;)
My roommie Megan brought chocolate crinkle cookies that her mom always makes. They were deeeelicious. Kinda like a cross between a cookie and fudge. Rolled in icing sugar. The perfect little chocolate treat.
And for those of you fretting over the start of your work week or school year, don’t worry…
As seen outside an Indian restaurant on Queen West in Toronto ;)
As Madeline would say – make it a good one!!
Question of the Day: What is your favourite thing to grill? Mine is bread!! We used to go to this restaurant when I was a kid where you could pick flavoured butters, different kinds of bread, then grill it yourself. Amazing.