10 Link Tuesday: Sangria, Sweets, and Salmon

10 Link Raspberries1. Homemade popcorn has become one of my go-to snacks. I love the looks of this toasted coconut popcorn from Shutterbean.

2. What could be better on a hot summer night than this watermelon strawberry citrus sangria from Joy the Baker?

3. I tried out this Burpee Arm Burner Workout last night. I loved how simple it was… and I definitely worked up a sweat!

4. Banana soft serve ice cream has almost become as popular as green smoothies in the blog world. I need to try it out before summer is over! I was thinking this peanut butter chocolate chip banana soft serve looked good.

5. I’m thinking I need to pick up some salmon on my weekly grocery trip this weekend so I can make this yummy caramelized salmon from Pinch of Yum!

6. This frozen vanilla coffee milk looks like a yummy alternative to a calorie laden milkshake when you are craving something chilled and sweet!

7. These super seed chocolate protein bites from Oh She Glows look like a perfect afternoon pick-me-up snack for work!

8. Looking for a healthier dessert to take to your next potluck or barbeque? Why not make this pretty fruit pizza on an almond flax crust?

9. This all over the place workout from Peanut Butter Fingers looks like a great way to mix up my normal routine!

10. Is anyone else loving the new Netflix show, Orange is the New Black? Will and I can’t get enough!

Summery Citrus Soda

Swimming at the pool. Grilling. Lying on the beach. Road trips. Shopping the farmers market. What are some of your favorite summer activities? We haven’t made it to the beach yet, but I have definitely been enjoying our bike rides around the city. Our cars are pretty much neglected on the weekends – I love it! Anyways, today I wanted to share with you a little homemade soda concoction that Will came up with recently. This citrusy soda reminds me of all the good things about summer. Without the simple syrup or a little sugar, it can be a little tart, but that’s one of the best things about this drink!
Summery Citrus SodaSummery Citrus Soda
(Serves 2)
Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups club soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon grapefruit bitters
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup (optional)
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Stir ingredients in a cocktail shaker or pitcher. (If using a martini shaker, don’t shake it or else you will have a soda explosion. Not speaking from experience or anything…)
  2. Pour into separate glasses with ice. Serve.

**To make it a tasty adult beverage, add 1/3 cup of gin. It adds a lovely hint of herbiness that you just can’t quite get without it.**
What is your beverage of choice in the summer-time?

10 Link Tuesday: Yummy Frozen Treats and Other No-Bake Goodness!

DSCF48521. Need to cool off on a summer afternoon? How about one of these yummy frozen snacks from the Lean Green Bean?

2. I really enjoyed reading about this strategic approach to finding a new job from Our Freaking Budget. If I decide to change jobs again, this might come in handy in the future!

3. I am drooling over these no bake almond joy cookies!

4. Speaking of almond cookies, I really want some of these raw almond butter cups from Oh She Glows!

5. I am learning to love strength training these days since I’ve gotten hooked on the Body Pump classes at my local YMCA. That doesn’t mean I don’t still love a simple at home workout like this full body weight workout from the Purely Twins. 🙂

6. I am so intrigued by this balsamic stone fruit sundae – sweet, savory, tart… unite!

7. Come fall, I will have to remember these upside-down apple tartlets. Yum!

8. I’m realizing that I am way behind on the green smoothie trend! Maybe this week I’ll cave and whip up one of these peach green smoothies from Pinch of Yum.

9. Will and I just picked up some cute little dip dishes at Ikea over the weekend. They would be perfect for serving a batch of this garlicky eggplant and yogurt dip.

10. Peaches have just started popping up at the farmer’s market here in Chicago. I’ll have to use a few to make a batch of this peachy greek frozen yogurt from Nutritionella.

Tasty Travel Treats

It has been a long time since I’ve whipped up a batch of cookies. I was so excited when this month’s Recipe Redux theme for road trip friendly snacks was announced. I knew I wanted to recreate these 3 ingredient banana oat cookies I’ve been seeing around the internet. I boosted the “healthiness” of these by tossing in some almonds, dark chocolate, and chia seeds! Although they are still a cookie, here are some of the great nutrients you are getting from each of the healthy ingredients!

  • Banana: Loaded with potassium which helps regulate blood pressure
  • Oats: Chock full of insoluble fiber which can help lower cholesterol
  • Almonds: Great source of fiber, protein, and vitamin E
  • Chia: One of the few foods that have Omega 3 fatty acids a heart healthy fat as well as lots of phosphorus and calcium for stronger bones
  • Dark Chocolate: Offers lots of antioxidants, a cancer fighting substance, without a bunch of sugar if you get the super dark version like I do!

It can be difficult to stay on track with your healthy eating on the road. I usually try to pack a few snacks with me like some fresh fruit, nuts, and some kind of muffin, granola bar or cookie like these. When you already have snacks along, you are less like to be tempted by Hostess cakes or Doritos at each pit stop. 🙂
Now, enough talk about these cookies, here is the recipe!
chocolate chia cookies
Chocolate Chia Oat Cookies
(Recipe loosely based on this one)
Makes 16 Cookies
Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe bananas (think banana bread ones!)
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup chopped dark chocolate pieces or chips
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash banana well with a fork until there are no large chunks.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Stir until mixed together well.
  4. Spoon dough onto a lightly oiled or parchment covered cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and firm.

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Cheesy Zucchini Bake

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday. We’ve made it halfway through another week. Woohoo! Today, I wanted to share this absolutely delicious dish we came up with last week to use up the extra zucchini we had picked up at the market. I loved having leftovers to pack in my lunch all week as well. The one thing that really brings this dish together is the simple cheese sauce made from a roux and shredded cheddar. The same cheddar cheese sauce you would use to make macaroni and cheese from scratch with just a few chives thrown in. It was so yummy I could almost eat it from the sauce pan with a spoon! Anyways… I hope you’ll give this dish a try to use up summer’s bounty of zucchini!
zucchini bake Cheesy Zucchini Bake
(Makes ~6 Servings)
Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 summer squash
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Thinly slice zucchini and squash with a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin, aim for slices <1/4 inch thick. (You can take the extra time to briefly broil the zucchini/squash spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet to get rid of some extra moisture, but this step isn’t totally necessary.)
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour with a whisk. Stir continuously over medium heat until mixture begins to lightly brown.
  4. Add milk to flour/butter mixture in saucepan. Continue stirring over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Add shredded cheese and stir. Once sauce has thickened to desired consistency, add chives and stir for another minute. Pull off heat and add to the sliced zucchini and squash in a large bowl, stir well to combine.
  5. In a saute pan, melt butter and toss in onion, tempeh and taco seasoning. Cook over medium high heat until onion is translucent and tempeh begins to brown slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Spray a 9”x13” glass baking dish with cooking oil. Spread zucchini/cheese mixture into pan. Top with tempeh. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until top is browned nicely.
Hope you are having a lovely week! What is your favorite way to cook zucchini and summer squash?

10 Things Tuesday: Taste of Chicago

Rooftop 10 things
1. Mmmm…. I wish I had a batch of these whole wheat peanut butter cookies.
2. This sparkling peach and thyme sorbet looks like a perfect way to cool off on a summer day.
3. Raspberries and peaches have started to make an appearance at the farmer’s market in our neighborhood… I am so tempted to make this raspberry peach buckle.
4. Need a little mood booster? Check out these 10 ways to boost your mood!
5. Did you know that cauliflower can be a great stand-in for rice or couscous? Check out this yummy detox tabbouleh which uses cauliflower instead of couscous as the base!
6. One of my favorite new foods of late is chia seeds! I love this roundup of what to do with chia seeds.
7. This maple baked salmon looks so delicious and simple!
8. I’ve been wanting to get in to the habit of making my own granola. This honey almond granola looks like a good place to start!
9. These muesli hiking balls are so cute. 🙂
10. My college friends came to visit over the weekend. It was so good to see them again! We had a lot of fun on Saturday exploring downtown and sampling some yummy dishes at the Taste of Chicago festival!
DSCF4822 DSCF4823 DSCF4834

Tasty Tempeh Burgers

Happy Wednesday! Today, I wanted to share one of those tempeh recipes I promised. 🙂 If you aren’t familiar with tempeh, it is a vegetarian friendly meat alternative made from fermented soybeans pressed into a patty. They leave the beans whole, so it has a slightly chewy texture making it a great choice for veggie burgers. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making a homemade veggie burger, so we picked up an extra package of tempeh this week so we could try this new recipe out. In order to keep a more “burger-like” texture, we didn’t completely puree the tempeh and also added some mushrooms. Feel free to adapt the seasonings as you see fit! We topped ours with a bit of this awesome horseradish havarti cheese we bought at the market, served in a lettuce wrap. Yum!tasty tempeh burgers
Tasty Tempeh Burgers
(Makes 3 Patties)
Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. mushrooms (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 8 oz. package tempeh
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat butter over medium heat in a non-stick skillet until melted. Saute mushrooms and garlic in butter until browned.
  2. Crumble tempeh into a food processor. Add onion, mushrooms, caraway, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to food processor as well. Puree until mixture starts to stick together.
  3. Take all but 1/4 cup of tempeh out of the food processor. Puree the last 1/4 cup tempeh mixture with 1-2 tablespoons of water until it forms a paste. Add to the rest of the tempeh mixture.
  4. Stir tempeh well and form into 3 patties.
  5. Grease a medium skillet and cook patties over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on both sides. (You could also try baking or broiling these too.)

tempeh burger 2 What is your favorite type of veggie burger?