ashley nicole avenue

a journey to healthy balance

Last Shot at the Giveaway ;) February 17, 2011

What’s up, bloggies? It’s so nice that it’s not freezing here 😉 There’s nothing like not having to pre-crank the car for a 6 a.m. BodyPump class.

Workout today: taught BodyPump and Zumba, did a Hot Yoga class

My tummy was growling at 5 a.m., so I had a quick pre-workout snack that Lindsay gave me to try. I immediately read the ingredients (cashew, dates, agave nectar, coconut, cocoa powder processed with alkali, almond, sprouted flax), was OK with them, tore into the package and devoured it 😉 It was a little more “coconutty” than a Larabar but really good. I mean, who turns down chocolate at 5 a.m.? hehe (Thanks, Lindsay!)

 

I dreamed about breakfast all the way home from the gym…and came up with this beauty since I had a little more time than a usual weekday morning.

 

“Check-Out-that-Sunshine” Breakfast Sandwich

  • 2 pieces of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread, defrosted and toasted
  • ½ banana browned stovetop with a little oil
  • Sunnyside up egg

  • Toppings: Naturally More, Trader Joes’ Superfruit Spread, unsweetened coconut, organic pumpkin

Plus a side of greek yogurt (Fage, my favorite!) topped with blackberries and strawberries.

Yummy!!!

And my Yogi tea (oh, how I love thee) must have read the blog yesterday because this was my inspirational message this morning…

“Experience your own body, your own mind, your own soul.” How appropriate!

I made a quick to-go lunch for work…

A grain bowl: brown rice (man, was that brown rice gooooood!), black beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, green beans…

and lunch dessert: an organic pear and a black bean brownie and cookie dough hummus sandwich 😉

This was SUCH a filling lunch of good fat, protein, and some “clean” carbs 😉

Off to teach Zumba…

One last shot at the giveaway…winner chosen tomorrow!!!

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Reader’s Request: 5 Years from Now…

God would probably laugh at my plans, but I’d like to be a practicing PA, maybe in a serious dating relationship or married, exploring balance with health and fitness, using my passport as much as possible while still spending time with family 😉

Where would YOU like to be in 5 years? Oh, I can’t wait to read these 😉

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Calling YOU Out

What’s up, buttercups? It’s been a day! Let me just tell y’all about it…

First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY LINDSAY!!! Thanks for your friendship…it’s been a blast!

Now onto today’s eats…check out the morning-after Blueberry Muffin “Larabars®”. Looks good to me! They were a little “wet” still, so I’d definitely recommend rolling with dried blueberries, but I could not find any that weren’t sweetened in our little grocery stores in town. (Note to self: buy at Whole Foods next time, or make some myself!) I liked the texture though. Perfect for crumbling 😉 hehe (insert sneaky smirk here)

I crumbled 1/6 of the “Larabar (R)” container on top of pumpkin oats with some real blueberries…

Check out this mug shot 😉 + Naturally More dollop.

Then I topped that with some Trader Joe’s Superfruit Spread. It was one of those days when I kept going back in the refrigerator for toppings.

Workout today: BodyPump, RPM, BodyFlow. I got “called out” today for overdoing it, but I truly felt great and had a great mix of cardio, weights, and flexibility training. When you’re a fitness instructor as a job, it’s important to keep up with your own fitness to be a good example for your participants. I would have left if I felt tired or sluggish…promise! I told the man who stopped me that he needed to check out my blog to see that yes, I do eat. It just really stuck with me today.

I came home to make this beast of a lunch in my baby plate ;)…Ashley Nicole Avenue salad beast and 1/2 sweet potato “Clare” style 😉 (I tried it FINALLY, Clare!)–with black beans, fresh salsa, and some ripe avocado. It was different for a change, but my tastebuds like baked beans on top better.

Dessert lunch: 1) Celestial Lemon Zinger hot tea (if you can’t say something nice, don’t! I miss my Yogi tea), 2) a square of 85% cacao chocolate…not as good as 100%, but it did the trick, and 3) the BEST smoothie! It tasted like ice cream + I added 3 slices of frozen banana…

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place ½ cup water and the almonds in a blender.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until the cashews have softened, at least 6 hours (and up to overnight).
  3. Add the ice, banana, and maple syrup.
  4. Blend until smooth and frothy.

After 3 hours of studying about metabolism of glucose and insulin, my tummy said: “Snack time, please!” So, went with 1) organic pink lady, a Ball of Energy (with Maranatha raw almond butter, Twister Power Powder from Whole Foods, unsweetened coconut, honey, rolled in some more coconut), and some Green Juice…

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Place the grapes, spinach, ice, and coconut water in a blender.
  2. Let it fly!

 

I went to chat with my friend Mira who inspired tonight’s dessert ;), practiced for Zumba and getting ready for my Zumba party at One Heart Yoga!!! If you’re in town, please come by for some or all of it. Here’s the deets…

“ZUMBA PARTY!!!: Friday, February 18th from 6:30-8:00 pm. Zumba instructor Ashley Sauls will lead us in over an hour of hip rolling, salsa dancing, clapping, laughing fun all while building our core strength and giving us a great cardio workout. In lieu of the regular class fee we will collecting donations for Ashley’s medical missions trip to Africa. She will join a team of 30 medical professionals, students, and pastors. Their group is partnering with a local ministry called Emoyeni, which takes care of orphans whose parents died of AIDS. For more info check out: (www.emoyeni.org) Hope to see you there!”

Dinner was a grain bowl!!! Oh, how I have missed these. I just wanted something really clean!

In the bowl:

  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • black beans
  •  edamame
  • green beans
  • steamed mixed veggies (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli)
  • seasonings: nutritional yeast and Garlic Gold Nuggets

Soooooo yummy and super quick!

Dinner dessert: Mira-inspired Single Lady Spicy Hot Chocolate

  • 2 tbsp + a little more 100% cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp Truvia
  • sprinkle of sea salt
  •  a little lot of cayenne pepper ( you pick your spicy!)

I have never tried one of these before. It was different. Definitely not sweet, but the cayenne complimented the cocoa well. Hmmm…I may need to play with this one some more (or go to Mexico and get a Mexican hot chocolate 😉 )

Plus, some grapes, a black bean brownie topped with some cookie dough hummus 😉

I’m fully satisfied! Definitely not stuffed but content.

Have you ever been “called out” at the gym? How do you handle it? I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

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Reader’s Request: If you could look back at yourself at 16 years of age, what would you say to yourself/What advice would your give yourself?

( I have to indulge the birthday girl today!)

Well, for starters, I’d say…

  • Lose your dreams! Open yourself up to what God has for you. It’s so much better than what you had planned for yourself.
  • GET HEALTHY! and enjoy eating REAL food…go get some raw nut butter NOW!
  • Start saving for a VitaMix ; ) hehe
  • Get out of your comfort zone at least once a day!
  • Get off the couch and go outside, take a walk, dance barefoot in the grass, life is too short. (I used to come home from school, eat way too many snacks and watch TV until dinner while doing homework.)
  • Outer beauty is not everything, but a healthy balance is important.
  • Love who you are and embrace it. Don’t roll with the “popular” thing your friends are doing or who they want you to be.

I’m sure there’s a lot more, but that’s what came to mind first. Thanks for the request, Linds!

 

Valentine’s Day for One…and a GIVEAWAY! February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine’s Day, my loves! I don’t know why the post I typed up last night didn’t post, but I’ll fill in as best I can 😦

This morning started with One Night Stand Breakfast Cookie Dough Cereal (because this process actually started last night hehe)

1. Make a breakfast cookie the night before…

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/4 scoop SunWarrior (this is all I had left…usually, I roll with 1/2 scoop)
  • 1 tbsp Naturally More
  • 4 slices of frozen nanner…so good morning after 😉
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • toppings: blueberries and goji berries

Sit it in the refrigerator overnight.

2. WAKE UP SOOOOO EXCITED that breakfast is already made from your one-night stand ;)!

3. Top with 4 soaked raw almonds for crunch and blackberries and 1/2 cup almond milk.

Workout today: BodyPump, RPM, taught Zumba

I got called to my temp office job, so I threw together a quick lunch of the rest of my tahini garlic dressing, carrots, cucumbers, celery, and herb mixed greens. It’s nice to have the “dressing” in the bottom so that all the salad gets mixed in. It was a quick and dirty lunch but yummy!

Quickie lunch: brussel sprouts and 2 mini black bean burgers.

I was so full from this lunch!

I wasn’t really hungry for a snack, and I had a tummy ache, but since it was going to be 8 hours in between lunch and din din, I decided to eat an organic pink lady and a Love is Not a Green Monster…

  • 2 cups organic spinach
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon flax
  • 1 banana
  • a few blueberries and strawberries
  • ice

Put in the blender, and let it fly!

After Zumba, I was huuuuunnnnngry! I rolled with leftovers from last night’s meal (see below..again, sorry it didn’t post for some reason 😦 ) and a small Ashley Nicole Avenue salad beast (herb mix, cucs, carrots, celery, edamame, hummus, and balsamic). Since I use these ingredients all the time, I’m officially naming this the beast of this blog 😉

So, last night’s dinner that disappeared into blog world…a romantic meal for 1 (with leftovers hehe)

1. Start with a small skillet of EVOO and garlic.

2. Add artichoke hearts, organic tomato slices, mushrooms, and some mixed spices and herbs. Cook on medium high heat and simmer down to low. Simmer to desired consistency.

3.  Add organic tomato sauce to veggies. Simmer a little longer 😉

4. Pour the simmered mixture over spinach noodlios. Mix well and let it sit to soak up all the flava!

5. Top with Garlic Gold Nuggets and FEAST!

Back to tonight…the highlight of the day was definitely tonight’s dessert. Since it is Valentine’s Day, I decided that some chocolate was in order 😉 hehe

a little almond milk, a black bean brownie, and a bowl of cacao nibs, mixed berries over MOUSSE!!!!! Chocolate mousse is one of my favorite indulgences, so I rolled with a clean version…

I used this recipe, and you should run, not walk (don’t throw your laptop) to your food processor and make some for you and your sweetie (or just you hehe), or you can have both servings. I just made 1/3 of the recipe for me.

Now I’m sipping some Bedtime tea, watching the Bachelor, and eating a 100% unsweetened chocolate square…still not full? hmmm…

What did you do to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Any romantic plans? Shouldn’t every day be Valentine’s Day?

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Our first GIVEAWAY!!! Fast, Fit, & Fab Cookbook

One of the clubs I teach at has a fabulous trainer in Florida who’s written an amazing cookbook. She told me she heard from several clients over the years that they didn’t have time to eat healthy, so she worked on developing a lot of healthier recipe options with minimal effort and minimal prep time! 🙂 It is a FANTASTIC cookbook with lots of “clean” options. It’s broken down into categories (breakfast, snack, lunch, dinner, desserts and smoothies). YOU have the chance to win a copy.

  • Just leave me a comment with a reader’s request.
  • Link back to this giveaway on your blog and let me know.
  • Both.

You can enter as many times as you’d like between now and Thursday night. I’ll pick a winner Friday morning!

 

Fridays Are For Cleaning Out the Refrigerator February 12, 2011

Hey y’all! I’m glad that y’all are liking the reader’s requests…keep ’em comin’! So, on Fridays I try to clean out the frige from all the leftovers from the week to come up with fun combos….so that I can make more over the weekend hehe

Enter: morning oats! These were REALLY good. I wish the bowl could’ve multiplied 😉

  • usual pumpkin-banana-chia seed oats
  • toppings: blueberries, Trader Joe’s cranberry apple butter, Naturally More

With some Yogi Get Regular Tea…it’s working 😉

Workout today: a 90-minute yoga/meditation class. How do you feel on ‘light’ workout days? I always feel the need to go “balls to the wall” with working out, so I feel weak when I just take in yoga on a day as my workout, but I did enjoy the stretching, and I’m hoping it’ll get me revved up to get a hardcore workout in tomorrow. I did try to push myself in the poses and got my heels to touch down in Down Dog for the first time. We did a restorative savasana (did I spell that right?) on a pillow with our back up like a ramp. I’ve never done savasana this way before. Meditation is a challenge for me as well as I have a hard time just being. I try to use that time to listen to God. I talk to Him a lot but rarely feel like I just sit and listen without my brain going in a million different directions. Yoga has become an integral part of my workout, and it’s challenging to my body (and mind) in a different way.

Lunch: everything that was in my refrigerator that was a vegetable ;)…a bed of kale chips (re-heated in the toaster oven for 3 minutes), celery, carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, fresh salsa, edamame. I needed something quick, so I just dumped it all in a bowl. It had beautiful color and texture and crunch. I topped it with 1 tbsp of the tahini garlic dressing I made. Yummers!!! Salad beast for the day. DONE! Plus, the refrigerator is cleaned out 😉

I tried to be so good today because Amber and I have a traditional birthday dessert that we split that I knew was coming tonight.

Dinner: Champp’s. I went online to check out their nutritional info before I got to the restaurant so that I knew exactly how many calories I was getting into. Based on what I saw there, I ordered a side greek salad ( no dressing) and a side of roasted dinner vegetables. It was a  good mix for dinner.

I knew this was coming…

Mile High Ice Cream Pie: Rich French vanilla, mocha-almond fudge and classic chocolate ice creams, layered on a chocolate cookie crust and topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and toffee pieces.

Oh yeah, Amber and I can do it all by ourselves…

Y’all pray that I’m not paying for this later.

Do you check nutritional information online before going out to eat?

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Reader’s Request: Wedding Planning

Yes, I am a wedding planner on the side. My business is … A Little Black Dress Event by Ashley Nicole Sauls. I thought all the way through college that I was going to be a wedding planner as a career and started this business my Junior year.

Event planning for me began when I saw The Wedding Planner and thought “I could do that.” I mean, Matthew McConaughey wasn’t too bad to look at 😉

[Source]

I joined the International Special Events Society the summer before beginning college and started networking with local event professionals. This landed me an internship as an event coordinator at the NC Museum of History where I learned so much and was able to really build my resume as they allowed me to run a lot of events on my own. Most of my events were wedding receptions, but I also was able to do proms, legislative events, receptions, birthday parties…and even able to do some writing and public relations for the museum.

I also worked with A Southern Soiree as an intern, which taught me a lot about the business side of things and how to own my own event planning company. Both experiences taught me so much, in different ways.

I had a couple other internships doing various other event planning for UNC General Alumni Association, bridal shows, wine experiences/showcases.

From there, I was able to start my own company as well as help out my girlfriends who were getting engaged and married.

What a ride! It’s a ton of fun! I can’t think of a better college internship…

Dancin’ at a reception. Yes, wedding planners can have fun too…after the cake is cut

When I got to the end of Senior year and approached graduation, I realized that this was something that I was good at (I hope that doesn’t sound selfish) and enjoyed but not something that I wanted to make a career out of. I still enjoy doing it on the side, and there is nothing like leaving a wedding reception after a long day and see the difference you were able to make in the lives of a couple, even if they have NO idea all the fires your had to put out (that’s what you prefer actually).

One of my favorite couples

I just felt called to make a difference in a different way in this world. Long story short, that’s how I ended up deciding to apply to physician assistant school. I learned that you can’t make every passion a career. I still like doing event planning on the side and in life in general…it’s a part of who I am, but I am so excited to be on the journey to becoming a PA if that’s what the Lord has for me.

 

What is “regular” anyway? February 10, 2011

What’s up, buttercups? How’s your day been? Mine’s been bueno!

Making breakfast ahead of time ROCKS! This morning’s SIAB included my first sample of chocolate SunWarrior, and I am in loooooooove!!!!

SIAB of Looooooooove

 

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup keifer
  • 3/4 cup mixed berries (black, blue, and straw hehe)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon natural almond butter (only raw almonds ground in food processor)
  • 1 tablespoon light agave nectar

Directions

  1. Place the keifer, berries, banana, almond butter, and agave nectar in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.
  3. Top with cacao nibs and a few raw old-fashioned oats.

and a blueberry muffin. Not the baked kind, the RAW kind.

Yes, I couldn’t wait any longer. And, of course, this is my favorite Larabar to date, and it’s no where to be found ’round here. WOW! So yummy. Thanks again, Steph. I was hoping this wasn’t too much for breakfast! :/

Workout today: BodyPump, RPM, BodyFlow.

When my stomach started growling in BodyFlow, all I could think about was lunch. So much for concentrating on breathing hehe

However, some cooking got in the way when I got home and lunch was a little postponed.

For starters, black bean brownies for my sister and Mommy’s birthday dinner tonight. Then…

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chickpeas (1 can)
  • 1/4 cup natural almond butter
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup crushed 85% cacao chocolate

Directions

  • Drain, measure, wash, and peel your chickpeas. (Peeling them isn’t absolutely necessary but it makes for the creamiest hummus and really is worth the effort.) For the sake of time, I didn’t peel my chickpeas, and it wasn’t as creamy as Lindsay’s, but it’s still amazing!!!
  • In a food processor, add the first 4 ingredients and process until the hummus is smooth and emulsified.

I licked a few blades and spatulas and spoons that held me over until I could make lunch 😉 Hey, I had to test it! I’m so excited to finally have a cookie dough replacement. I’ve missed it since I’ve started eating healthier. In college, it was a staple for my girlfriends to go on late night cookie dough tub runs.

My (chopped) salad beast of the day on the baby plate (tabouli, celery, carrots, edamame, cucumber slices, tahini garlic dip on top). This plate is really helping me with portion control 😉 In addition to the beast, I rolled with brussel sprouts with Garlic Gold nuggets and an organic apple with apple pie spice. Plus some red chai for dessert because I was about to go study, and it has ginger and cloves in it, which it claims helps with concentration and memory, and I’ll take all the help I can with Biochemistry.

Tonight we had Mom/Amber’s birthday dinner at my grandma’s. She always makes us a birthday meal. Mom like Baked Goulash with Pineapple Cake, and Amber likes Ranger Casserole with Fudge Brownies. I took my black bean brownies and dessert hummus and blueberries over to her house as another dessert option. However, I just sucked it up and ate her main courses. Yes, it was white rice and pasta with real cheese. Sometimes making Mama happy is just worth it! Our spread…

We began with a salad. I brought carrots, cucumbers, celery, and balsamic vinegar to dress it with.

My main course plate: (plus I had another serving of steamed veggies)

My Dessert: a recreation of a Black Bean Blueberry Fantasy with my I Can’t Believe It’s Not Cookie Dough, blueberries, and sexy spice. I also had some coffee since Mama made it, and I am feeling the caffeine now :/ It’s amazing how it never used to affect me.

My Mom and sister did try a black bean brownie. Now I’m watching UNC vs. Duke. I’m nervous!

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Reader’s Request: Digestion

Disclaimer: This could be TMI.

This is really vulnerable, but I have been asked lately about digestion, so I decided to share a little about my story. Since I started really cleaning up my eating, my regularity has gone a “irregular.” I was to the point where I had to go on Beano with every meal/snack because I “gassy” (sorry if this is TMI). My PA told me to try the refrigerated probiotics (I got mine at Whole Foods), which have helped so much; even the next day I felt better. My gas has gone away, except when I get hungry (do y’all experience this?), and regularity is getting better.

I also started drinking Yogi “Get Regular” tea. I really like the Yogi brand of tea (and the inspirational messages that are on the tabs). I’ve tried Bedtime, which has really helped me rest better at night, and Get Regular,which has aided in my digestion–both of which taste great. Other brands I’ve tried (i.e. Celestial) are not as tasty to me.

[Source]

I heard from a pediatrician that sometime babies aren’t regular because they use all of the nutrients they get in breast milk, so I’m not sure if I am using all the nutrients from my food and don’t have as much waste until my body builds it up and is ready to get rid of it.

I’ve also read that healthy fat helps, and I’ve definitely had more nut butter and EVOO lately on veggies (i.e. butternut squash and kale chips), so maybe that’s helped as well. I’m definitely NOT an RD, so discuss any digestion issues with someone who knows what they’re talking about. This is just my experience. What is “regular” anyway?

I’d like to hear your input.

Do you have any other reader’s requests?

 

Not Your Typical Black and Blue

Thank-y’all SO much for your patience! Grab your coffee/tea/whatever and get ready for this fun-packed post.

Breakfast yesterday was polka dots-and-stripes-style SIAB and hot tea 😉

It’s 5:00 Somewhere Pina Colada SIAB

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup raw soaked pistashios 
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon light agave
  • a little purified water and coconut water

Directions

  1. Place ingredients in a blender.
  2. Blend until smooth and frothy.
  3. Add some rum hehe
  4. Toppings: Nature’s Path Pumpkin Seed and Raisin cereal, blueberries, sexy spice.

Making breakfast at night has been wonderful this week as it saves me so much time in the mornings so I don’t feel like I have to rush as much to get ready for the gym. I’ve realized a lot of my “stress” is self-imposed and therefore can be dealt with and conquered!

Workout: taught Zumba, took BodyCombat and a hot detox yoga class.

My friend Lindsay and I finally met up for a potluck lunch. It’s SO nice to have a good friend who “gets” the healthy food lifestyle and can inspire me and cook with me to try new things. What a blast to have someone who’s excited about PB2 and Sunwarrior and black beans 😉 Hold on to your laptop! Lindsay is the best host, along with her PRECIOUS son Carter. What a cutie, and he’s learning the best eating habits at such a young age. What a lucky boy to have a Mom who is doing her best to teach him how to eat. I love my friends who are  moms. They’ve taught me so much!

For starters, a sample of Carter’s “Mom Knows How to Sneak Those Veggies In” smoothie (kiwi, banana, spinach, carrot, keifer). It was the perfect quick fuel after the gym while we made lunch.

Homemade Mexican Black Bean Burgers! (vegan)

(makes 2 patties)

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 C fresh spinach
  • 1/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp. oats
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 small garlic clove

 Optional toppings: sliced tomato, avocado, fresh spinach, ketchup, mustard

Instructions:

Toss it all into a food processor and whirl away!

 Once it’s mixed, form into two patties. Toss them onto a skillet coated with cooking oil/spray (we used coconut oil) and cook on medium high for about 5 minutes, flipping at least once until they have a bit of a crust on them. Serve atop salad or on a whole wheat bun with toppings!

We doubled the recipe so Lindsay would have leftovers, and we put our burgers over a salad BEAST with these ingredients…plus some homemade hummus and balsamic vinaigrette

Ta dahhhhhhhhhhh…salad beast for the day. Check!

Next course: Dessert: Black Bean and Blueberry Fantasy

1. Start with Black Bean Brownies

Servings: 9

Description:

Dense, fudge-y and ultra-healthy, these brownies are a great alternative to traditional brownies! It’s amazing how they taste like chocolate and fudge and not beans! Chef’s Notes: Rolled oats run through the food processor may substituted for the instant oats. Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe.

 Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 whole bananas
  • cup agave nectar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup raw sugar (optional)
  • ¼ cup instant oats

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8×8″ pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing. Chef’s Note: if you find these brownies are too soft or too fudge-y, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour

2. Top with Peanut Dreams Dessert Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions

  • Drain, measure, wash, and peel your chickpeas. (Peeling them isn’t absolutely necessary but it makes for the creamiest hummus and really is worth the effort.)
  • In a food processor, add the first 4 ingredients and process until the hummus is smooth and emulsified.

3. Place another black bean brownie to make a sandwich.

4. Top with a Peanut Buttercup Sauce of PB2 (my first experience with PB2…LOVED it!) and chocolate almond milk, blueberries, and sexy spice.

WOW! So, it’s not a blackened piece of meat with bleu cheese, it’s SOOOOOOO much better!!!! Seriously, after you finish this post, go make it! It was so filling. In fact, I beat myself up a little all day for the extra calories, but it was soooooooo good!

I definitely skipped snack with all that black bean protein, but I did have a vanilla rooibos from Starbucks while I studied.

For dinner, again, it was a thought struggle as we had Bible study right around dinner time. So, I ate a few snacks while we had an amazing study in Jonah…

We didn’t get home until 10-ish, but I thought it was better to go ahead and eat then skip a “real” dinner. It wasn’t the best choice probably for a late-night meal, but I really wanted my leftover nachos from the SuperBowl with the rest of my fresh guac and a little fresh salsa (this is an appetizer plate).

Then, my stomach was so happy to get dinner that I found out how hungry I really was, and I wanted dessert. I went with a small bowl of blueberries and sliced strawberries, 1/2 a banana heated for 10 seconds in the microwave, a little greek yogurt, and a Ball of Energy to garnish 😉

What a fun day for food!!! Lindsay’s house was like going to Whole Foods. She has all the foods I’m saving up to buy…SunWarrior, PB2, homemade hummus, nut butters, all of which I love! Thank-you Lindsay (and Carter) for being such wonderful lunch dates!