Cuz it’s Fridaaaaay!

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And Friday’s instantly make us all giddy inside so a yummy pumpkin bread recipe naturally pairs with that feeling wonderfully.

That being said, Friday’s aren’t the same for me anymore since Fall quarter started. I have a three hour Anatomy/Physiology lab every Friday morning at 8 a.m…that doesn’t exactly scream happy go-lucky status.

So my Friday mornings normally go like this:
7am: Rushed Breakfast + Coffee + Blogging –> 8am: 3 Hour Lab Mental Atrocity –> 12pm: Trader Joe’s Therapy

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It’s not all that bad. I just like to be over dramatic with my life in order to make it more interesting. Because in reality my life can be pretty boring from an outsiders perspective. Unless you also find zen at Trader Joe’s on a Friday afternoon in order to clear your mind and get lost in the aisles of foodie heaven.

If that’s the case for you let’s get some two buck chuck, dark chocolate peanut butter cups and become best friends please.

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So my latest Friday TJ’s finds included white chocolate chips for only $1.99, I mean how could I resist? And of course, canned pumpkin, rolled oats and PUMPKIN CREAM CHEESE. Someone pinch me this stuff is so good.

I don’t usually give into the whole Trader Joe’s pumpkin hoopla…I mean I try a few products here and there but I don’t go crazy with getting ALL the pumpkin things…I have a student budget to abide to unfortunatley.

That being said, after getting mentally beaten down last Friday with a Lab Practical, I felt like treating myself. And that my friends is what Fridays are all about.

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Now as I write this post, with The Voice on in the background, pumpkin bread bar in hand slathered in pumpkin cream cheese and sunbutter…I’m finding my zen, my escape from the stress of school and the beauty of treating myself.

And spoiler alert: these taste like cake. No joke, legit cake. The white chocolate chips + maple cream cheese glaze are just icing on that cake (literally). You will not believe how moist and fluffy these little bars are, and it’s all from good-for-you ingredients like oat flour, greek yogurt, peanut butter and pumpkin puree. Sha-zaaam on that note Happy Friday y’all!

P.S. Does anyone else watch The Voice? I think I’m team Adam… (for obvious reasons)

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White Chocolate Pumpkin Bread Bars with Maple Cream Glaze
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oat flour* (gluten free if needed)
  2. 1 tsp baking soda
  3. 2 tsp pumpin pie spice
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. sea salt to taste
  6. 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  7. 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  8. 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk
  9. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  10. 1/2 cup peanut butter** (or almond butter)
  11. 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  12. 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Glaze
  1. 3 Tbsp cream cheese (Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese = THE BEST)
  2. 2 tsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Grease an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk together yogurt, almond milk and vanilla extract. Let this stand for a few minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Combine oat flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, sea salt and sugar in a bowl until well mixed.
  4. Combine pumpkin and peanut butter until well combined. Whisk this into your yougrt mixture until a thick mixture forms. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Fold in white chocolate chips then evenly spread out into your baking dish.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes and while it's baking make cream cheese glaze. Melt the cream cheese in the microwave for a few seconds then mix with maple syrup.
  6. Once bars are done baking, allow to cool in the pan for atleast 20 minutes. Cut into 16 squares then drizzle on maple cream cheese glaze.
Notes
  1. *To make your own flour, simply grind raw oats in a blender or food processor for 30 seconds until smooth.
  2. **I used Peanut Butter & Co. White Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor but any peanut butter will work, and I am sure almond butter will as well.
  3. Makes 16 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days or in the fridge. These taste best the next day so I reccommend planning ahead if making for an event! Super yummy warmed up with extra cream cheese or nut butter.
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

More fun things to do with quinoa!

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When it comes to food, there are a few commandments I tend to follow. Okay, that’s not true. I am VERY open to all kinds of food but everyone has their preferences and here are some of mine:
1) Crispy is always better. Always.
2) There needs to be a sauce. Or a dip. Or something flavorful to add that brings extra va va voom to my meal.
3) Dry chicken will never be cosumed. I’d rather grab a bowl of cereal and call it a day than conform to dry chicken.
4) All meals get a topping. Wether it’s granola on top of my peanut butter toast, cereal in my smoothies or crunchy chips on top of a burrito bowl…I will make it happen.

Clearly, this list could extend for pages and I would have no problem filling you in on my little quirky atttibutes of food but I’ll just give them to you in bits and pieces. Todays four food commandments tie into this scrumptious little rosemary quinoa crusted chicken sandwich with balsamic crema. You know me and my long titles. Gotta cover all the bases.

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So who would have thought quinoa could be used in place of breadcrumbs? Not that I am against breadcrumbs. In fact, my pantry is always stocked with panko bread crumbs that get used in almost every poultry dish made…BUT sometimes we gotta change up the scenery. Especially when that scenery involves extra nutritious benefits.

The benefits of quinoa are no mystery anymore so I am not going to bore you with a post all about how quinoa is the new chia seed. It’s a great source of protien and fiber, more so than most grains. What you really should know is that when you mix your quinoa with excess amounts of rosemary, garlic and parmesan you can get an awesome meal out of it.

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And by awesome I mean a crispy coated, non dry peice of chicken drenched in creamy balsamic sauce and throw into a bun. And with that, we covered my quirky food preferences. The quinoa added the perfect crispy crunch coating, which in all hoensty surprised me. I was a little skeptical the quinoa would not come out as a crispy breading, but it worked great!

Rosemary and parmesan are SO essential for this dish as well. When the Recipe Redux challenged us to use spices this month, I was sort of at a lost. I LOVE experimenting with spices and I realize rosemary isn’t something out of the ordinary, but it’s one of my favorite ways to add extra zing to chicken and potaotes. Two essential food groups in my life. Therefore, rosemary = essential. Adding it to the quirky food preference list for sure.

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Rosemary Quinoa Crusted Chicken with Balsamic Crema
Print
Chicken
  1. 2 thinly sliced, boneless chicken breasts
  2. 1 Tbsp rosemary
  3. 2 tsp garlic powder
  4. Sea salt + pepper to taste
  5. 1 cup cooked quinoa*
  6. 1/4 cup almond flour (or flour of choice)
  7. 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  8. 1 egg, beaten
  9. 1 Tbsp olive oil
Balsamic Crema
  1. 2 Tbsp strawberry balsamic vinegar (regular is fine, make sure it’s good quality)
  2. 2 Tbsp olive oil mayo (Earth Balance)**
  3. 4 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine rosemary, sea salt, pepper, garlic and cooked quinoa in a shallow dish. On a paper plate spread out your flour and set aside.
  2. Whisk together your egg and olive oil in a shallow bowl until thick and fluffy.
  3. Coat chicken in flour on both sides, then into your egg mixture and lastly into your rosemary quinoa. Make sure both sides are evenly covered and place into a greased baking dish. Repeat with your other slice of chicken. Lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray and bake for 25-30 minutes, setting oven to broil the last few minutes for an extra crisp.
  4. While the chicken is baking, prepare your balsamic crema. Whisk together balsamic, olive oil mayo and greek yogurt. For the olive oil mayo, I use earth balance brand. They use healthier ingredients than regular mayo like olive oil, but still give off the same flavor.
  5. Once chicken is done, top with balsamic crema and serve with vegetables, in a sandwich or however you prefer!
Notes
  1. *Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. You will need one cup of COOKED quinoa, not uncooked.
  2. **For the olive oil mayo, I used Earth Balance brand. They don't use any weird ingredients and is a great alternative to regular mayonaise. Veganeise would work great as well.
  3. Serves 2-4
Adapted from Damn and Delicious
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

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Dun dun dunnnnnn!!!

The moment we have all been waiting for is here! Even I was super giddy last night clicking the button to randomly choose the winner of the Annie’s Homegrown Giveaway! I wanted to take the time to make an entire post out of this because well it’s exciting, fun and everyone deserves a huge THANK YOU!

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Let’s just say I am feelin sentimental. I wanted to thank everyone for taking the time to participate in the awesome giveaway hosted by Annie’s. This blog would be nowhere without all my fellow readers, supporters and sponsers. This blog all started as a way for me to express my passions and a place to go to when I needed to escape the chaos of life, and just get lost in a recipe.

Now it has become a way for me to reach out to the community and conenct with people who share the same inspirations, goals and weird food obsessions. All I can hope for is to continue to create recipes that you all will love and share fun giveaways like this so you can benefit from the healthy lifestyles we all aspire to create.

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And lastly, a HUGE thank you goes out to Annie’s Homegrown for giving me this opportunity. I had way to much fun playing around with their ingredients, photographing those cornbread muffins and spreading the word on #teamannies! Below is a fun little recipe of savory trail mix, with Annie’s cheddar bunnies included! It’s not a rocket science recipe, it’s just an easy go-to snack mix you can have on hand during the week!

And now time to get to the point! The winner of the Annie’s Homegrown Giveaway is: Amanda Garcia!!

YAY!! Congrats! I will be emailing you the details of everything and how you will receive your package later today!

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Savory Cheddar Bunnies Snack Mix
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies
  2. 2 cups mini whole grain pretzels
  3. 1 cup roasted peanuts
  4. 1 cup golden raisins
  5. 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  6. 2 tsp bbq seasoning (or savory seasoning of choice!)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients and wa-la! Trail mix for the week is done! Feel free to play up the ingredients, like adding almonds or hazelnuts instead of peanuts. Any dried fruit will work in palce of the golden raisins as well. I sometimes like to add crunchy granola clusters to the mix too!
Notes
  1. Makes one big batch!
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

Apparently I have been really into “stuffing” things lately. Like earlier this week when I channeled my inner food-truck cravings and stuffed mac n cheese into Cornbread. I tend to have a go big or go home mentality sometimes and when it comes to food, this is a major plus.

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My latest cravings this month have been centering around sweet potatoes. They are just so versatile and can be played up with so many things. My go-to lunches have been omelettes with roasted sweet potatoes topped with peanut butter, apple butter and granola. Another side note: I LOVE toppings.

A lot of my dinners have consisted of roasted chicken, veggies and bakes sweet potato wedges. And let’s not forget breakfasts’ that consist of Maple Sea Salt Sweet Potato Pancakes.
Clearly, I’m obsessed and if I start turning orange we know where the culprit lyes.

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And P.S. I am also determined to make sweet potato cookies happen. Be on the lookout for that recipe this winter! But until then, let’s play up the savory side of life and whip up the easiest brunch meal you will ever create. And it’s totally Fall approved because roasted sweet potatoes = Fall in a nutshell.

They’re in season, the farmers markets are flooding with them and the weather is starting to get cool enough where warming up your teeny tiny apartment with baked goods in the oven all day is completley acceptable.

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This was the first time I ever ate a “stuffed” sweet potato and to be honest it was quite a good time. It’s like a one pot meal except you’re eating out of this big baked potato. I could talk food detail all day long. Which is probably why I am writing this blog post instead of studying for my Anatomy lab practical…

By the time you’re reading this I will hopefully be released of my hellacious midterm, relaxing through the aisles of Trader Joes and catching up on much needed DVR time. After a week of nonstopness, this is how I plan to spend my Friday night (not the typical college girl, I know). But some chocolate and wine will hopefully be included as well. Again, totally wild.

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Oh and I am like DYING to see Gone Girl. Has anyone seen it or extremely obsessing over the book? Going to the movies is one of my favorite things ever and since Fall quarter started there has been no time for movie dates. Not acceptable.

I’m thinking after finals some Gone Girl action + major dessert action will be happenng. Until then…let’s stuff our sweet potatoes with crispy prosciutto, scrambled eggs, melty cheese and creamy chipotle aioli. Happy brunching!

BTW: Sunday is the last day to enter the Annie’s Homegrown Giveaway! Click on this link: http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/mac-n-cheese-cornbread-muffins-with-pretzel-cheddar-streusel-annies-homegrown-giveaway/ for your chance to enter a free box of Annie’s products!

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Prosciutto Breakfast Scramble Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle Aioli
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 large sweet potatoes, roasted*
  2. 2-4 slices prosciutto
  3. 2 tsp olive oil
  4. 4 eggs
  5. Handful chopped onion
  6. Mozarella cheese
  7. Cherry tomatoes, sliced
Chipotle Aioli
  1. 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  2. 1 Tbsp Olive Oil Mayo (Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
  3. 2 tsp chipotle sauce from canned chipotle adobes
Instructions
  1. Grease a skillet with olive oil and add your chopped prosciutto. Cook over medium high heat for 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Remove from pan and set aside. Whisk your eggs and onion in a bowl then cook on a skillet over medium heat. Toss in your prosciutto and chopped cherry tomatoes and cook eggs until well scrambled.
  2. Slice your sweet potatoes in half then evenly distribute your egg scramble mixture into each. Sprinkle seasoning of choice like basil or oregano then top with mozzarella cheese.
  3. Whisk together your chipotle aioli ingredients and drizzle over each potato. Serve immediatley!
Notes
  1. *To roast your sweet potatoes, wrap them in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes. You can alternatively wrap them in a paper towel and microwave for 5 minutes or until soft. Roasting brings the best flavor in my opinion!
  2. **I used Earth Balance Mindful Mayo, they use olive oil and healthy ingredients versus regular mayo. Veganese would also work well too.
  3. Serves 2
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between my blog and Annie’s Homegrown. This could include Annie’s providing me w/ content, product, access or other forms of payment.

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Hello Fall season. I welcome you with a hungry appetite, lots of muffins, mac n cheese and pretzel crumbles. Comfort food never sounded so good. And my kitchen never felt so peaceful.

That’s what I think of when I think Fall. A warm, comforting and peaceful kitchen. With a fireplace, close friends and gooey cookies baking in the oven. And scrumptious carb filled snacks. Specifically carbs-on-carbs-on-carbs filled snacks that involve cheese.

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And that’s where the cornbread comes in. So these muffins don’t exaclty sound all Nutritious Kitchen-y status. I mean really, mac n cheese stuffed into cornbread? With pretzel topping? These are the types of things you see in booths at Food Truck Festivals next to “bacon mac n cheese grilled cheese sandwiches” and “double layer bacon chocolate waffle ice cream sandwiches”. Intense stuff, I kid not.

But don’t let the title overwhelm you. It really just comes down to a science.

Healthy cornbread + whole grain mac n cheese + crunch topping.

All natural, full of flavor and creamy carb love. How that’s scientific, I do not know, but let’s just roll with it.

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The sweet people over at Annie’s Homegrown sent me a lovely package filled with boxes of mac n cheese, cheddar snack mixes, a fun spork and other goodies. Needless to say it felt like Christmas morning coming home from Physiology class to foodie blogger presents.

I have always been a fan of Annie’s Bunny Grahams but never have gotten the opportunity to try their other products. Let me just say, it is always nice to find a comapny selling packaged food that is good for the body and the soul. Annie’s strides in selling all natural, organic, non gmo, non artifically flavored, family friendly packaged goods.

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Think whole grain mac n cheese, pizzas, granola bars, snack mixes and graham crackers. Like it just makes me excited to have kids and be to able to get this stuff for their lunch boxes!

But on that note, I seriously can wait to have kids. Like I can wait a really, really long time. You get my point though!

Be sure to enter this awesome giveaway hosted by Annie’s Homegrown so you too can come home to a box full of yummy goodies sponsored by Team Annie’s!

Just leave a comment below then log in to the Annie’s Homegrown Giveaway to confirm your comment and you could be a mac n cheese winna!
Have any of you used Annie’s products before?
How do you incorporate Annie’s Homegrown into your meals?

Check out all of Annie’s Homegrown products here: http://www.annies.com/

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Mac n Cheese Cornbread Muffins with Pretzel Cheddar Streusel
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  2. 1 cup cornmeal
  3. 2 tsp baking powder
  4. sea salt to taste
  5. 1 egg
  6. 2 Tbsp honey
  7. 1/4 cup melted butter
  8. 1 cup milk
  9. 1 box Annie's Organic Cheddar Shells
Streusel
  1. 1/2 cup Annie's Cheddar Pretzel Snack Mix
Instructions
  1. Prepare Annie’s cheddar shells according to package instructions. Once that is ready and prepared, set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 liners, or spray with olive oil spray.
  3. In a large bowl combine whole wheat pastry flour, cornmeal, baking powder and sea salt.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the egg until well beaten then whisk in honey, melted butter and milk. Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and slowly mix together with a wooden spoon. Be careful not to over-mix the batter; stir until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in your mac n cheese then distribute into muffin tins. Place your Annie’s pretzel cheddar snack mix and parmesan cheese into a blender and blend until a crumble forms. Layer the crumble over each muffin evenly and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Notes
  1. Makes 12 muffins.
  2. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. These are also freezer friendly and go really well alongside some bbq chicken!
The Nutritious Kitchen http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/

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