Breadless Toast: Madness, Genius or Just Plain Deliciousness?

Today’s kitchen creation is being served with a confession on the side.

I’m not a bread person.

Did you even know that’s a thing? To not like bread? My secret shame. Nope, can’t even order avocado¬†toast for¬†Sunday Brunch despite my all-consuming avoddiction (P.S. that word DOES¬†exist. Look it up).

But *insert sigh of relief* order is now restored to the galaxy because¬†I’ve discovered a breadless alternative‚ÄĒsweet potato toast. A.K.A. the latest foodie trend currently taking over my life. Forreal.

And if plant-based + gluten-free + downright delectable sounds like the ultimate jam, then prepare for a takeover on your life too.

I rest my case. Times three, in fact. Because you’re about to experience…

sweet potato toast three ways

Just grab a¬†sweet potato, then go culinary crazy¬†with¬†all¬†the¬†fixings. And here’s some inspo to get those creative juices (not to mention, appetite!)¬†flowing.


Ingredients:

sweet potato toast savory ingredients2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 small can Chickpeas

1/2 tsp. Ground Paprika

1/4 tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Juiced Lemon

                             sweet potato toast sweet ingredients

2 tbsp. Chopped Raw Almonds

1 tbsp. Organic Almond Butter

1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

1/2 Sliced Apple

sweet potato toast spicy ingredients

1/2 tsp. Sriracha Sauce

4-5 Spinach Leaves

1/2 Hass Avocado

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

                                                                                                                   


 Preparation:

  1. Cut the Potato into 3 slices about, 1/4-inch thick, leaving the skin on.
  2. Put each slice in a toaster and cook for 5 minutes, or until the texture becomes pliable but still firm.
  3. Drain and rinse the Chickpeas, then transfer 1/2 into a food processor.
  4. Add the Lemon and 1 tbsp. Olive Oil, then puree this mixture until a hummus consistency forms.
  5. Place the remaining Chickpeas on a foil-lined baking sheet and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. Drizzle them with 1 tbsp. Olive Oil, Cumin and Paprika, then cook in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the Chickpeas become crispy.
  7. Spread the hummus over the first Potato slice and top with the roasted Chickpeas to make savory toast.
  8. Chop the Almonds coarsely and slice the Apple, then spread Almond Butter over the second Potato slice.
  9. Top with the Apples, Almonds and Cinnamon to make sweet toast.
  10. Mash the Avocado until a guacamole consistency forms and spread over the third Potato slice.
  11. Top with the Spinach and Sea Salt, then drizzle on Sriracha to make spicy toast.

Seriously…moment of silent introspection for these wondrous little tubers.

Alright, moment over. Girl’s gotta eat!

Mighty Nut: the Protein Powder of Champions + Giveaway

I first discovered Peanut Butter & Co back in college when surviving on PB&J sammies was an occupational hazard of dorm life. The creamy texture, finger licking flavors and all-natural ingredients powered me through everything from finals cram sessions (thanks for the 4.0, PB & Co!) to weekend Netflix binges (damn, I miss college sometimes!).

So, when I recently discovered PB & Co’s Mighty Nut protein powder, I just couldn’t resist. Not only does this product deliver all the smooth, silky lusciousness of traditional peanut butter, the finely ground consistency lends itself to baking, blending, sprinkling and more!

From smoothies to oatmeal, Mighty Nut is a convenient — and indulgent — way to meet your daily protein quota.

mighty nut powdered peanut butter

Here’s what you’ll find in each (2 tbsp.) serving:

  • 85% less fat calories than regular peanut butter
  • vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO certified
  • 5-6 grams of protein
  • 1-2 grams of fiber
  • only 1-2 grams of sugar
  • only 1-1.5 grams of fat

Plus, it’s available in 4 delightful varieties:

  • Original
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Flax & Chia

I’ve specifically been playing around with the Flax & Chia flavor, so behold my latest creation — Vegan Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Muffins. Because, any excuse for fall yummies, right?!

Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup Unsweetened Pumpkin Purée

3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour*

1/2 cup Unsweetened Cashew Milk

1/4 cup Mighty Nut Peanut Butter Powder

1 tbsp. All-Natural Almond Butter

1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice

1/2 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

Organic Stevia (to-taste)

*Make this recipe gluten-free by substituting any of these alternatives.

Pumpkin Muffin Ingredients

Preparation:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or use baking liners.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until the batter is smooth and thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour the batter into each individual muffin cup (you should have enough batter to fill about 6 cups).
  4. Bake the muffins for approximately 20 minutes, or until they are completely cooked through (test with a toothpick to make sure).
  5. Allow the muffins to cool slightly for approximately 5 minutes, then give into the temptation — it’s guiltless, I swear!

Pumpkin Muffins Batter

Pumpkin Muffins Finished Product

Wanna score your own jar of Mighty Nut amazingness? Just enter my Giveaway through the following channels:

Open to U.S. residents only. Deadline to enter is October 25, midnight EST. One prize per person. If you have already won a Mighty Nut giveaway from another blog, please disclose this, so I can choose another winner. 

 

5 Reasons You NEED to Know About Undiscovered Kitchen!

Say what, now??? Never heard of it?

Well, fear not…I’ll fix that! And here’s why you should even care:

1. It’s an entirely digital farmer’s market. If you get your jollies from discovering locally-grown, natural and scratch-made deliciousness from your hometown farmer’s market, what could be better than stocking up on those same goodies without even leaving the house? Answer: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Undiscovered Kitchen allows you to shop an impressive variety of artisan and handcrafted  — not to mention fabulous — foods, sourced nationwide, from the convenience of your computer.

2. The founder is off-the-chain awesome. Her name is Evona Niewiadomsk, — which screams “hippie-badassery” — and she’s uber passionate about food, fitness, travel and embracing life as the ultimate adventure it’s meant to be! Like, this girl just took off on a one-way flight to Spain in pursuit of entrepreneurial ambitions and exotic experiences. Inspired (or maybe a teeny bit jealous)? Uhhh…YEAH! Evona launched UD Kitchen in 2014 with one core mission, which the company continues to uphold: “Support and empower small batch makers across the country and to help passionate artisans grow their businesses! Every purchase made on Undiscovered Kitchen DIRECTLY supports our small batch makers so you can EAT good, FEEL good and DO good!”  Read her full story here.

3. No dietary preference is excluded. Are you freakin’ frackin’ fed-up with struggling to find foods that fit your lifestyle needs and DON’T taste like cardboard?! Well, guess what — UD Kitchen has effectively ended your struggle. Forever. Whether you’re looking for vegan, gluten-free, raw, dairy-free or organic products, UD Kitchen brings all these options together at one easy-to-navigate online destination. Consider it your one-stop-shop “healthy foodie paradise!”

4. Your sweet tooth just met its match. For anyone, who daydreams about the confectionery perfection of a freshly-baked dessert, UD Kitchen understands. They. Get. You. And, they’ve also got you covered! So, satisfy those sugar cravings with sweet and chocolate-y temptations, made GUILT-FREE from wholesome ingredients. You can even score treats that accommodate dietary restrictions — but sure won’t skimp on flavor!

5. Basically, healthy never tasted so fab. ‘Nuff said.

Are you salivating yet? Don’t lie. You totally are. But, hey, no shame…Me too! When I first uncovered Undiscovered Kitchen (see what I did there?), the connection was instantaneous.

In fact, their digital farmer’s market platform seemed so superbly up my alley, that I’ve since become a UD Kitchen Ambassador.

After all, what’s not to love about a company committed to “discovering new and unique products, shopping by lifestyle for foods that fit special health and diet needs like vegan, gluten free and raw, and finding fitness fuels and power snacks for athletes and active lifestyles!”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Undiscovered Kitchen banner

Decoding “Fitspeak”

When was the last time you logged onto Twitter or Instagram and didn’t see a #gymflow mirror pic? While scanning tabloid headlines, like “Kourtney Kardashian Drops Baby Weight Thanks to Edamame Detox,” do you feel a surge of confusion followed by resentment that she thought of it first? (Whatever the HELL an edamame detox even¬†is).

Upon hearing the word “tabata,” would you picture a hibachi grill rather than an exercise regimen? Have you given up trying to decipher what Gwyneth Paltrow means by “organic avenue,” or why anyone cares?

Like…whoever came up with this stuff must take pleasure in your befuddled brain.

Would somebody just write you a damn manual already?!

Ever since pop culture and social media outlets hopped on this new “Eat Clean Train Dirty” bandwagon, our society has begun to develop a new language. I call it “Fitspeak.”

The sophisticated-sounding terminology thrown around by magazines, celebs, personal trainers, and self-proclaimed weight loss gurus. Yup, that’s Fitspeak. I’m sure you’ve heard it used. But who, among us, can call themselves fluent?

These days, the concepts of health and fitness are less about lifestyle choices and more about trendiness. And here’s my personal take on that shift: with all these fads-of-the-moment popping up every time a new “Dr. Oz” episode airs, there’s no differentiating between them. If you can sneak “clean eats” into a conversation, you might as well be a registered dietitian. But is the average person even aware of what clean eating entails? Probably not. (I had to research…just sayin’).

So, we follow the trends and adopt the lingo. But we’re missing 1 crucial link: how those fancy words can be applied to the upkeep of our bodies. We’ve lost our knowledge and, therefore, our power. But, ladies, that ends now. The more we study Fitspeak, the more we’ll understand the difference between passing fads and nutritional values. The more we’ll know about our own wellbeing.

Right. Let’s get cracking the Fitspeak code!


Nutrition:

1. Paleo Diet:¬†Shorthand for “paleolithic,” the idea behind this dietary plan is that if our Stone Age ancestors didn’t ingest certain foods, we shouldn’t touch them either. The paleo diet consists of lean meats and protein, high-fiber-low-starch fruits and veggies, and omega-3 oils or other unsaturated fats. That means no processed foods (refined sugars or saturated fats), grains, legumes, and most carbohydrates. Basically, expect to eat like a hunter-gatherer.

2. Gluten-Free Diet: Initially used to treat celiac disease, the idea behind this dietary plan is that avoiding gluten (a protein found in some grains) will reduce inflammation of the small intestine. The gluten-free diet consists of unprocessed nuts and legumes, eggs, lean meats (without any coating), fruits and veggies, most dairy products, and non-wheat whole grains. That means nothing made with barley, rye, wheat, or triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Basically, make GF flour your new best friend.

3. Vegan Diet: A (reduced carbon footprint) step further than vegetarianism, the idea behind this dietary plan is that any animal part or by-product should not be considered food. The vegan diet consists of fruit and veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and plant-based meat substitutes, such as tofu or tempeh. That means no processed foods, meat of any kind, eggs, honey, and dairy products. Basically, if it comes from a critter, it goes nowhere near your mouth.

4. Juice Diet:¬†Intended for the purpose of cleansing the body from toxins, the idea behind this dietary plan is that¬†replacing meals with organic juices for 1-2 weeks will keep your organs and blood stream in mint condition. The juice diet consists of only blended fruits and veggies. That means…well, nothing else. Except water. Literally. Basically, you better really like those leafy greens. And health professionals suggest proceeding with caution, as the benefits of juicing have yet to be proven.

Exercise:

1. Zumba Workout:¬†Developed by a Colombian choreographer in the ’90s, this fitness program incorporates dancing and aerobics into a fast-paced cardio workout. Zumba combines movements from the following Latin dance genres: samba, salsa, soca, hip-hop, flamenco, chachacha, tango, mambo, and merengue. Some off-shoots also include lunges, squats, and martial arts. Basically, Zumba is hardcore resistance training set to lively ethnic beats.

2. Tabata Workout: Also known as HIIT (high-intensity interval training), this fitness program incorporates a series of 4 minute workout circuits that build muscle and torch excess fat. Tabata combines bursts of extreme aerobic activity and alternating recovery periods. Some regimens target strength training (e.g. push-ups, squats, or sit-ups at varying speeds), and others target cardio (e.g. hard sprints followed by a jog). Basically, welcome to the longest 4 minutes of your life.

3. Hot Yoga Workout:¬†Widely considered the most effective method of improving flexibility, this fitness program incorporates yoga poses performed in 40% humidity. Hot Yoga combines breathing exercises, movements, and meditations, just like traditional yoga. The only difference is an added heat-factor introduced by Bikram practitioners for the purpose of sweating out toxins. Basically, you’ll want a gallon of water at the ready. Or 5 gallons, no biggie.

4.¬†Pure Barre Workout:¬†A fairly recent phenomenon that’s been sweeping the nation, this fitness program incorporates ballet and pilates into an hour of torture with unbelievable results. Pure Barre combines tiny isometric pulses and tucks to tone the entire body, while paying specific attention to the thighs, glutes, arms, and core. This regimen bases its effectiveness on small muscles tiring quickly and, therefore, working harder. Basically, Pure Barre will kick your ass.