Vegan Brownie Batter in a Mug

LO SIENTO for the blog disappearance, but a few weeks ago was CARNIVAL (or, CARNAVAL en espanol) in Spain and I jetted off to Tenerife in the Canary Islands for the week and I’ve been SO BUSY since then figuring out future plans, planning trips, working, etc. Tenerife is definitely one of the coolest places I’ve ever been in the world. There’s not too many places in the world that have snow, volcanoes, volcanic rock, mountains, beaches, cliffs and the ocean all within 1 hour driving distance of each other. Check out my Instagram for pictures from the trip!

You know it's a successful trip when you get a new profile picture for Facebook....

You know it’s a successful trip when you get a new profile picture for Facebook….lol

Onto something equally as important as traveling–chocolate. Do you ever get chocolate cravings? Some nights, I just CRAVE chocolate and I finally found cocoa powder in Bilbao, so I’ve been experimenting a lot with it. I have a recipe that I HAVE TO SHARE BECAUSE IT’S THAT GOOD. I’ve told a few of my chicas en espana about it, but I wanted to share it on here too! It’s ooey gooey chocolatey sweet goodness in a mug. And who doesn’t like eating things out of cute mugs? When I was little, I remember always eating ice cream out of mugs with my dad at night. Since then, eating things out of mugs has always made stuff taste better to me.

Vegan Brownie Batter in a Mug

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Ingredients: 1/4 c instant oats, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons honey, 1/2 banana, 1-2 tsp peanut butter or nutella (optional, but I HIGHLY recommend)

Prep time: 5 minutes | Ready in: 5 minutes

Directions:
Put ingredients in mug in this order: oats, cocoa powder and then honey. Break or slice the banana into smaller pieces and place on top of oats, cocoa powder and honey. DON’T MIX ANYTHING YET. Place in microwave on high for 20 seconds. The honey should be boiling and the banana should be softer when you take it out (if it’s not, microwave a little more). AFTER microwaved, mash and mix ingredients in the mug. Place in microwave for an additional 20 seconds on high.

Nutrition: whole serving contains (without peanut butter)
197 kCal | 2.7g fat | 44.7g carbohydrates | 7.1g dietary fiber | 5.3g protein
*with 2 tsp peanut butter, add around 63 kCal, 5.4g fat, 2.1g carbohydrates, 0.6g dietary fiber and 2.7g protein

This seriously tastes like brownie batter, but it’s healthy and doesn’t have any raw egg, butter, oil, flour, is gluten-free (depending on if you consider oats vegan free–I do), vegan, under 200 calories AND hits the chocolate cravings. What more can you ask for? 

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What’s your favorite food to hit chocolate cravings? Have you every visited the Canary Islands in Spain?

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Post Run Pyramid Workout

ES EL VIERNES!!! POR FIN!!!! 

I’m so excited it’s finally Friday, more so than other Fridays because next week is Carnival aka I don’t have school aka I’m jetting off to the Canary Islands for the week to explore and experience one of the biggest Carnival celebrations in Spain–Santa Cruz de Tenerife! I’ve been really busy this week and last night was the first time in a few days I actually had time (and energy) to go to the gym (woof the highschoolers have been wearing me OUT lately!). So 8:00pm rolled around and I began getting ready. I already knew what workout I wanted to do and had it all planned out in my head and was pretty excited to go lift, but I couldn’t find my gym card! I’m sure if I would have went to the gym and told them, they would let me in, but my gym is kind of far away and I didn’t want to chance it and end up wasting my night. Instead, I decided to run outside along River Nervión for around an hour and when I got back I did a post run pyramid workout on my yoga mat. It took about 15 minutes for me, but you can do it at your own pace to fit your needs. I like it because it’s quick and targets a lot of different areas on the body. It’s great for a post run workout, because has more reps for arms and abs, but there is still some cardio (burpees) and leg exercies (glute kickbacks) as well to make it well rounded. 

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That photo was taken in Hawaii last year when I went with my dad. By far the most relaxing vacation of my life….TAKE ME BACK! Well, this is a short post, so check out my other posts from the week:

  • Monday – Hiking to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
  • Tuesday – A Day In Tuscany
  • Wednesday – No Time, No Problem (reblogged from Chelsea)
  • Thursday – Why Girls Should Be More Like Andi from The Bachelor

If you do this workout, I hope you enjoy it! Have a good weekend! 

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Do you do workouts at home? Have you ever celebrated Carnival or Mardi Gras? 

3 Ingredient Lowfat, High Protein Hummus

Buenas dias!

How good does this look? Scroll down for the recipe! Nommsss.

How good does this look? Scroll down for the recipe! Nommsss.

It’s really nice here in Bilbao today! No rain, 55 degrees and sunny. Yesterday I was really busy teaching all day. But I got to wear my really cute new shirt from Zara, so it was okay.

Zara, I love you.

Zara, I love you.

Yesterday was exhausting because I teach ALL day. After school I teach a private lesson too, which makes my day around a 12 hours day. I had to run to Corte Ingles after my private lesson and THE BEST THING EVER HAPPENED. I found Starbucks lattes. I obviously had to buy one, and this is how I started my day today:

It's like I never left the states, except I bought the Starbucks at a mercado and Cosmo is in Spanish.......

It’s like I never left the states, except I bought the Starbucks at a mercado and Cosmo is in Spanish…….

And yes, that’s still the same magazine I’ve been reading since last week. The funny thing about buying magazines in Spain is a February issue actually takes me all of February to get through since I’m still learning Spanish. In the USA, I breeze through magazines in about 20 minutes.

Anyways, once I week, I usually make hummus and eat it all week long. I’m a hummus addict and you don’t want to see me when I run out of hummus…I get HANGRY. I ran out of hummus Thursday, so today was the day to replenish. I was so busy snapping pictures (and maybe dancing to One Direction in the kitchen….) so I could post the recipe for my normal hummus, that I forgot a main ingredient (olive oil)!! I didn’t even realize until I was eating it and the rest was already in a tupperware container in the fridge. But it tasted great, so I wanted to share this accidental recipe I stumbled upon today!

3 Ingredient Low Fat, High Protein Hummus

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Ingredients: 2.5 cups chickpeas, 1/3 cup lowfat greek yogurt (purchased at Lidl for Spain readers), 1/4 cup lemon juice (juice of 1 or 2 lemons)

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Prep time: 5 minutes | Ready in: 10 minutes

Directions:
Rinse 2.5 cups chickpeas and pat dry with paper towel. Cut and squeeze juice from lemon. Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smoothness desired. Store in air tight container in fridge for up to a week. Enjoy with sliced vegetables, pita chips or on a salad (my favorite way).

Nutrition: 1/4 cup serving contains
100 kCal | 1.8g fat | 15.8 g carbohydrates | 4.3 g dietary fiber | 5.4 g protein
(Compared to Sabra Hummus, 1/4 cup contains 140 kCal, 10 g fat, 8g carb and 4 g protein)

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This hummus has a tangy taste, but the greek yogurt still makes it really creamy and the lemon enhances the flavor! I usually add some olive oil into mine, but it totally slipped my mind today and this recipe happened! I plugged in the recipe to get the nutrition facts and was pleasantly surprised to see how much protein it has and how lowfat it is. I would recommend it to anyone who loves hummus but is trying to cut down on fats or increase protein in their diet. In my opinion, pretty much everything tastes better with hummus and if you don’t love hummus I just don’t think we can be friends…. 

Me, every day. (click for source)

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Do you love hummus? Do you make your own hummus or buy it? What’s your favorite store to shop at? Spain readers, what’s your favorite store in Spain to shop at? 

What I Ate Wednesday

Hi loves!

Real question here: How many times is it socially acceptable to (re)watch episodes of The Bachelor? (asking for a friend). I was a fan of Chelsie from the beginning, since she was an OSU alumni and I’m pretty sure she was in one of my chemistry classes during undergrad. I was sad to see her go, but she’s to good for Juan Pablo anyways. In the beginning of the season I was obsessed with JUANuary and Juan Pablo, but after the whole him and Clare in the ocean thing, I kind of lost respect for him. Also, I don’t know what changed this week, but all the sudden I’m not really a huge fan of Nicki the nurse. Not really a huge fan of any of the girls he has left to be honest. I thought him and Charlene were really good together though, and then she left! Did anyone see the previews for next week? SOMETHING GOES WRONG IN THE FANTASY SUITE! Oh no! I wonder if it’ll be as bad as Jillian Harris and Ed’s fantasy suite date….

Anyways, yesterday was Wednesday, so time to post about what I ate!

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I started off the day with a green smoothie, same as last Wednesday. I try to drink one at least every day (when I’m not traveling).

Spinach, banana, strawberries, almond milk, peanut butter and chia seed goodness

Spinach, banana, strawberries, almond milk, peanut butter and chia seed goodness

After downing the green smoothie, I headed into the city center to do some paperwork, which took twice as long as I thought it would because of printing problems and the post office just taking FOREVER. After that, I was originally looking for new reading glasses, because mine are currently taped together, but I got distracted by Zara, and ended up shopping there for an hour. Woops. Before I knew it, it was time for lunch. I got home and was STARVING, so before I made lunch I ate a spoon of peanut butter.

Peanut butter is always a good idea.

Peanut butter is always a good idea.

Awhile ago, I pinned a recipe for Zucchini Pizza Boats that I’ve been dying to try. So for lunch, I used Sonnet’s recipe as my base, but used some different toppings and sauces. I made each one different to figure out which kind I would like best, however the sauce was either pesto or marinara/pizza sauce.

Pesto zucchini boats

Pesto zucchini pizza boats

Marinara zucchini pizza boats

Marinara zucchini pizza boats

 

Even though I love all things pesto, with the zucinni, I definitely like the marinara pizza sauce better. I also liked the one with all the toppings–olives, tomatoes and both cheeses (mozzarella and feta)! Nommms. I only ate three of these, so I was still a little hungry after lunch and had a small cup of yogurt with muesli and a drizzle of honey. (I will post the whole recipe and everything for the zucchini pizza boats soon!)

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Then I had to go work for a few hours. I was teaching my students action verbs today, and they were playing a memory game and I was trying not to laugh. PRIMERO, these two kids are always drawing during the lesson too, so when they need to erase things they always ask me “for the rubber.” LOL. It’s the british english word for eraser. SEGUNDO, one of the action verbs I was teaching was cook. They kept saying “cock.” So between those two things and me being mildly immature, I had to hold back laughter the whole lesson. I just kept telling them to try to pronounce it like “COOOOOOOK.” When I got home a few hours later, it was already 8pm and I just wanted something quick, easy and sweet (read: not a salad or leftover zucchini pizza boats).

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Yogurt bowls always win when I need something quick. And I also sipped some green tea with lemon (so good! I’m not a fan of green tea by itself, but squeezing some lemon in it is a game changer) before heading out on a run.

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On Tuesday, I ran 13km (8 miles) and am feeling shinsplints coming on. Wahhhh. I haven’t had them since I was 15, but I think I might be upping my mileage too fast. I really want to run this marathon in May, but it’s so hard to consistently train with traveling on the weekends.

After dinner last night, I did manage to go outside and run about 5km (3 miles) at a really easy pace. I was only in pain for the first 10 minutes, and then I came home and did some yoga to stretch out. My general rule with running and pain has always been try to run and if the pain doesn’t shake itself out within the first mile or 10 minutes, stop running.

Last time, when I trained for the marathon, I used a foam roller ALL THE TIME. I remember if I went on a weekend trip, or went home for the weekend from college, my foam roller came with me. It was like my shadow during marathon training. They are great for IT bands and shin splints. I’m thinking about buying one here to use. I just keep buying stuff, knowing that my time here is limited, so it’s hard to keep buying more things. Remember last week when I bought a random mug because it was cute? That accurately describes my spending habits here in Bilbao. But I think since I KNOW the foam roller will help me with (possible) marathon training, I’ll go ahead and buy it. I just can’t let myself get sucked into buying other things at Decathalon (the athletic store here in Bilbao, similar to Dicks back in the states). Last time I went to Decathalon, I went to buy running shoes and I left with running shoes, a swimsuit, goggles, swim cap and yoga mat….

This needs to be me. (click for source)

Since I’m writing about it and have made it public, now I WILL practice self control when I buy my foam roller. I have to, or else I’ll have to shamefully write on here how I couldn’t restrain myself….

**

Thoughts on The Bachelor??? Do you use a foam roller? Do you have the same problem as me of going into a store for one thing and leaving with multiple things?

Oven Roasted Barbeque Chickpeas

My uncle Chris always says, “God bless the chickpea,” and I couldn’t agree more. I mean, why wouldn’t you love chickpeas? Reasons #1: Hummus. Reason #2: Hummus. Reason #3: Hummus. Reason #4-1,000,000: Hummus. 

Okay, there are more reasons to love chickpeas other than hummus. They are a good source of protein, especially for vegans or vegetarians, and also have fiber, folate, copper, iron and zinc. They are also really inexpensive. EN ESPANA, it’s like .51 euros for a jar, which is 1.5x as big as a US can. This is good for me because I am the kind of person who (if you follow me on Twitter, you already know this) doesn’t get their cracked iPhone screen fixed because it is equivalent to the price of a flight in Europe, and I’d rather travel (#wanderlustproblems). Okay, I’m actually putting off getting my phone fixed until after Carnival, because I’m scared I’m going to drop it sometime that week too…

Anyways, I’ve been experimenting with other ways to cook chickpeas specifically EN EL HORNO (in the oven). I’ve made a few recipes, but I wanted to share with you guys my favorite thus far. If you like chicken nuggets dipped in barbeque sauce, or anything barbeque flavored, this is for you! I LOVE chicken nuggets with barbeque sauce and when you roast chickpeas in the oven they get nice and crispy. Throw on some barbeque sauce, and it reminded me of chicken nuggets with barbeque sauce. Nommmssss.

Oven Roasted Barbeque Chickpeas 

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Ingredients: 1 can or jar of chickpeas, 1/3 cup barbeque sauce (I used Hunts because it is the only kind I could find in Spain, but any kind would work)

Prep time: 10 minutes | Ready in: 45 minutes

Directions:
1.
Preheat oven to 225 degrees celcius (450 degrees farenheit)
2. Rinse chickpeas and pat dry completely with paper towel (VERY IMPORTANT TO DRY THEM THOROUGHLY…YOU DON’T WANT SOGGY CHICKPEAS)
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3. Put dried chickpeas in bowl and mix in barbeque sauce. All chickpeas should be lightly coated in barbeque sauce. If they aren’t all coated, apply more as needed.
4. Place chickpeas on greased baking sheet. I covered my baking sheet with aluminum foil and then greased it (using the oil + paper towel method I talked about in this post…). Spread chickpeas out so they aren’t on top of each other.
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5. Place baking sheet in oven for about 30-40 minutes. Each 10-15 minutes, use a spatula to move the chickpeas around and flip them so one side doesn’t get too burnt. You can also apply more barbeque sauce if you want (I applied a little more!).
6. OPTIONAL: Take multiple selfies and send snapchats in the kitchen while they are cooking because you are bored/clearly overly excited about the chickpeas.

SELFIE DE CONCINA

SELFIE DE CONCINA

7. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cool, enjoy plain or add them to another dish! I added mine to a salad (featured in my “What I Ate Wednesday” post)! It reminded me of a barbeque chicken salad, but it was with chickpeas so vegetarian friendly! You can save any leftovers in a tupperware in the fridge for 5-6 days and they will be fine (they won’t be as crispy/crunch, but they will still taste good!).

Mixed greens and spinach with sweet potato, tomato, avocado, feta and OVEN ROASTED BARBEQUE CHICKPEAS!

Mixed greens and spinach with sweet potato, tomato, avocado, feta and OVEN ROASTED BARBEQUE CHICKPEAS!

Nutrition: 1/4 cup serving contains
87 kCal | 2.7g fat | 27.1 g carbohydrates | 2.5 g dietary fiber | 4 g protein

Most of the sugar in this recipe comes from the barbeque sauce, so depending on the brand or kind you buy, you can lower the sugar and carbohydrates. I really enjoyed these because they are very versatile. You can snack on them plain, or add them to dishes. Along with a salad, I think they would be really good on top of a baked sweet potato or in a pita with lettuce, tomato, and avocado. They are also nice and crispy!! Roasting the chickpeas in the oven gives them a whole new taste! If you didn’t know that these were also an ingredient in hummus, you would never guess after eating them roasted.

Also, you can adjust the recipe depending on how many you want to bake. Last, I’ve said it before, but I prefer plant based protein and believe that if you get more protein from plant based sources, it is healthier. I am a huge fan of chickpeas as a plant based protein! They have a different texture than most other beans like black and red beans, and as I’ve learned from experimenting with them, they are very versatile for cooking! After you make this recipe, I’m sure you’ll also be saying, “God bless the chickpea.”

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Do you like chickpeas? What is your favorite way to eat them? 

Think Pink! Quinoa Style

Hi loves!

I hope you had a good Monday. Mine was filled with a whole lot of nothing. The day after I get home from a trip (whether it is a weekend, week or month), I am always exhausted and need a full day of recovery from traveling. I only moved today to go to work and the grocery store (*judges self*). I still need to figure out how to recover from a trip more effectively than submersing myself into the Netflix movie Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas.

Grab your tissues y'all.

Grab your tissues y’all. 

But this movie was so good. Tear jerker. Grab a box of tissues if you are going to watch it. And maybe chocolate. And maybe, maybe wine. Definitely wine.

Looking back, I guess I did more than watch this movie and work today. I also had my roommates try my peanut butter banana energy bites. When I opened the tupperware to have them try one, they were so hesitant. But after they ate them, they were shocked by how good they were! Eating healthy does not mean it’s going to taste gross. Then, I had my spanish roommate try a date because she’d never had one (I’ve been making homemade Larabars with dates! Nommsssss). She wasn’t a fan. You can’t win them all lol.

Okay, so this is a really random blog post but I also wanted to post a recipe of a food I’ve featured on my Instagram and my “What I’m Loving” posts. It’s PINK QUINOA! QUE MONO!

Pink Quinoa with Beets and Goat Cheese 

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Ingredients: 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, 1-3/4 cup vegetable broth, 1/2 cup canned or jarred beets, 1/2 cup beet juice (from the can or jar of beets), 1/4 cup goat cheese

Prep time: 35 minutes | Ready in: 65 minutes

Directions: Measure out 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa and put in a pan with 2 cups vegetable broth (you can use water too, but I prefer vegetable juice as I think it adds more flavor). Let quinoa soak in vegetable broth for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the heat on high and bring quinoa to a boil. Once boiled, reduce to a simmer and allow quinoa to cook until the vegetable broth is absorbed into the quinoa. Add lid if you want. This should take about 20 minutes. After it is done, allow quinoa to cool and move it into the fridge for about 30 minutes. While quinoa is cooling in the fridge, cut 1/2 cup beets and 1/4 cup goat cheese. When quinoa is cool, take out of the fridge and add the beets and goat cheese to quinoa. Last, pour in about 1/2 cup beet juice from the beets (use your own judgement, you don’t want it to be soupy, but you want it to have a nice pink color). Enjoy plain or on a bed of greens. I ate mine with spinach!
Note: I cooked my quinoa the night before and let it cool in the fridge all day before preparing this.

Nutrition: 4 servings, 1/2 cup each, 1 serving contains
206 kCal | 8.6g fat | 20.1 g carbohydrates | 2.3 g dietary fiber | 12 g protein

I really like the nutrition facts of this recipe. Good balance of fat, carbs (high in fiber) and protein. I also love this recipe because it’s colorful! Any natural food that has a rich color is generally rich in nutrients. Beets are a deep pink color and are full of antioxidants. I love learning about antioxidants because they are a newer discovery (relatively speaking) in nutrition and medicine. We have known about vitamins and minerals for a long time, but the health benefits of many antioxidants is still being researched today. Beets contain polyphenols and betalains. Along with antioxidants, they also are very nutrient dense in folate (arguably, the MOST important nutrient for pregnant women as it helps prevent spinal bifida), manganese, potassium, copper, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin C, iron and vitamin B6. Aside from the nutrition benefits of eating beets, I think I liked this recipe best because it was pink.

But really.

But really. 

How do you recover from a trip? What is your favorite way to eat quinoa? 

Arms & Abs Superset Workout

It’s already Monday?

Did I have a daughter that no one told me about? Is this her? Wait, that only happens for men, right? Did I just write that? ANYWAYS, this picture accurately describes how I feel most Monday mornings, especially Monday mornings after I spend my weekend galavanting around Europe. But I can’t complain, galavanting Europe is pretty fun. I spent the weekend in the most charming city I’ve visited in Spain so far…Salamanca. If you follow my Twitter or Instagram, I’m sure you know I was in Salamanca. When I travel, I’m an Instaholic or Bingestagrammer (my friend Chelsea came up with that one lol). Something about Europe + Instagram filters just makes me really, really happy.

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But how can you not take a million pictures when you visit a city that looks like this? SO PHOTOGENIC. Salamanca’s like that friend we all have, who looks good in EVERY SINGLE PICTURE. You know, that friend who can roll out of bed and post a selfie on Instagram and look like a model. That’s Salamanca. I can’t wait to write about my trip to Salamanca and Zamora, but that’s for another post. What I want to talk about right now is weight lifting (I know, still a little weird that I do this now lol). Specifically, superset workouts.

What is a superset? A superset workout is when you choose 2 exercises and do them one after the other, with no rest in between. So you do one set of one exercise, then one set of the other exercise, then rest and repeat. A superset is a really broad term, and you can organize your exercises to match your needs. For example, some people do an upper body exercise (like bicep curls) paired with a lower body exercise (like jump squat jumps) for fat loss (lower body exercises are with larger muscles, working larger muscles means more calories burned). Or, they overload a certain muscle group by doing two exercises targeting the same area to build muscle mass. I don’t put too much thought behind mine, because for me, just weight lifting in general is good since I’m usually more likely to just do cardio and call it a day.

I did want to share a superset workout I did the other day after a run. I decided to add an abs exercise in between each superset. It’s kind of hard to explain, so I made a picture!

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This workout was great and only took about 30 minutes after I finished a run and I felt like it was a good workout for both arms and abs (I felt the oblique side bends for a few days!). It definitely isn’t a cardio workout, so it’s good in addition to a cardio workout. I was already pretty tired after doing a speed workout run, so this was nice. Also, I really enjoy doing superset workouts because they don’t get boring. You are always switching exercises and it keeps it entertaining. So if you’re bored with your weight lifting routine, switch it up and try supersets!

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How was your weekend? Would you consider yourself an Instaholic or Bingestagrammer