Friday, March 29, 2013

Health + Fitness Friday: Healthy Food Find

I love a good and healthy food find and this week, I'm crazy for chia seeds! I have had these tiny seeds on my radar for awhile, but it wasn't until I watched a few food documentaries that I learned more about their beneficial qualities and why I should be adding them to my daily diet. Chias are chock full of fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium and even some protein! Their gelatinous properties also are a great way to cleanse your system. Here is a quick round up of articles on the chia seed craze!

Lately, I've been adding chia seeds to my protein pancakes, paleo snack bites and even my morning smoothies! They also make a great addition atop my plain greek yogurt with fresh berries for some added crunch! A little goes a long way with chia seeds. I buy mine at Trader Joe's. 

And, for a quick workout update this Friday, my baby and I are still cruising along at the gym about 5-6 days a week! As of yesterday, I am 30 weeks. OMG. Sadly, I had to slow down with the running because the extra weight in my baby belly causes me to cramp up, so the elliptical and I are best friends. I still mix in some strength training a few days a week Now that Spring is finally (almost) here, Wrigley and I can take advantage of long daily walks. Overall, I'm feeling great and I can't believe our little one will be here in about 10 weeks time. 

Wishing everyone a wonderful Easter weekend! Don't forget to check out all of the other Health + Fitness Fridays posts over at A Daily Dose of Davis. Cheers! 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Sweet Tweets

I love these Easter treats so much, that I decided to re-post them today as the Easter weekend approaches. Whether you are a fan of the sugary marshmallow puffs or not, you have to admit these little fellas are adorable. These couldn't be easier and make such a fun and festive treat to drop off to the tiny people in your neighborhood, send in a care package or sweet favors for an Easter themed party. Just grab some lovies to help you, peeps of every color, some melting chocolate and pastel sprinkles. 

Because everything is better with sprinkles. 

You can find the original post with a link to the "Sweet Tweets" printable {HERE}. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut macaroons remind me of being a kid, and my first 12 years of life in the lovely state of Michigan. Every time we ventured into Detroit's historic Greektown, a trip to the Astoria Bakery was a must after dinner. And without fail, I always came home with a giant coconut macaroon of my own. This was qyite easily one of my favorite treats of all time. I love, love love anything coconut! I had some extra egg whites left from a batch of gelato and I knew they needed to be whipped up into some coconutty goodness. 

Just in time for Easter, here's a simple coconut macaroon recipe to add to your files. I made half of this batch plain and the other half with chocolate chips. Next time, I'm going to drizzle some extra dark chocolate atop each cookie. And can you imagine how adorable these would be made into bite sized coconut easter nests with a few jelly beans in the center!?

These macaroons are just a good little cookie. Simple and sweet.

Coconut Macaroons
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

3/4 cup sugar
2.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix together with your hands. 

Form mounds, about 1.5 tablespoons each, and place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart. 

Bake for 15-17 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Frosty Paws {for the four legged furry foodie}

Dogs may have taste buds that are far less complex than ours, but that doesn't mean they don't appreciate a little something extra every now and again. Being a lover of food myself, I can't grasp the fact that Wrigley has to eat the same thing day in and day out. It just doesn't seem fair. So... I mix things up for him every so often. And I like to believe he loves me a little bit more for doing so.

I'm not the only one with a dog treat recipe today. My California sister, Danica, spoils her pups, too! 

Mr. Wrigley enjoys his Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits so much, that I decided it was time to add another doodle treat to the mix. I came across a recipe for Homemade Frosty Paws on The Daily Puppy and knew they would be perfect. We've been running with Wrigley and he loves to lick these up when he gets home from a 30 minute run. 

These frosty paws are technically for dogs, but the humans in our house think they're pretty tasty, too!

Frosty Paws

32 oz. organic plain yogurt
1 ripe banana
2 tsp. natural peanut butter
2 tsp. honey

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the banana and yogurt until smooth. Add the peanut butter and honey and pulse until completely mixed. Pour mixture into ice cube trays and freeze until solid (about 4-6 hours). My ice cube trays hold 20 cubes each and I filled two whole trays! These will last us over a month. The treats will pop right out of the tray when they're ready.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

I usually hold up the treat for the Wrigster and let him go to town for a bit before it gets melty. Once it's about halfway gone, I drop it to the floor and let him enjoy the rest on his own!

Wrigley loves his Frosty Paws!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Coconut Oil Hair Treatment

Coconut oil and I are having a moment right now. I have been using it more in the kitchen and a jar of it now sits in my bathroom cupboard! It's great for dry hands, chapped lips and my itchy, quickly growing baby belly. Now to add to the list? Hair.

Right next to pre-natal vitamins, coconut oil is the best thing that has happened to my hair. Dare I say, better than last year's obsession with guacamole hair. Peace out, avocado. This simple treatment has been floating around the interwebs recently and after my sister raved about the results, I decided to treat my hair myself! With all of the blow-drying, straightening and curling I put my hair through, it's good to give it some extra TLC.

While washing the oil out of my hair, I was worried I would be left with a greasy mess, but as soon as I started blow-drying, I was happily proved wrong. My hair was left feeling smooth, thick and incredibly healthy.

The tutorial I used can be found HERE

Friday, March 1, 2013

Greek Orzo

How about I start your weekend off with an easy and delicious (and colorful) orzo salad!? Orzo is incredibly versatile, great to serve to large crowds and my best friend Meghan and I like to believe that it doesn't really count as pasta. Kind of. 

I mixed up this recipe for our Super Bowl party last month and everyone loved it! It can be served cold or at room temperature and surprise, surprise, it tastes ten times better the next day, the next next day and the next next day after that. Dishes like this are the best. Keep my Greek Orzo on file for your Summer picnics, an easy weeknight side or make a big batch on Sunday to enjoy for lunch all week!

Greek Orzo

1 lb. Orzo pasta
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes, chopped
3 small Persian cucumbers, or one English cucumber, finely diced
6 ounces crumbled Feta cheese

6 Tbsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil
6 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. garlic powder (or one clove garlic, minced)
3/4 tsp. dried oregano
3/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt

Fill a heavy bottom sauce pan with water and a sprinkle of salt and place on high heat. Bring to a boil. Add orzo and cook on medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Rinse and drain.

Prep tomatoes, olives and cucumbers by chopping and placing in a large bowl. 

In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined. Set aside.

Toss orzo, vegetables and dressing together in a large bowl. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Finish with feta and refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.