Dorm Dining: Avocado and Egg Grilled Cheese

Well, the title has pretty much all the ingredients in it so for all you foodies, go ahead and get cooking.  But if you would like some instruction on how I made this simple and filling grilled cheese, follow along for some quick instructions.

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Avocado and Egg Grilled Cheese

1/4 and avocado

1 whole egg

1 egg white

1 slice of cheddar cheese

2 pieces of bread (I used Udi’s gluten free whole grain)

butter

pepper, to taste

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Directions:

Begin by whisking your egg and egg white in a bowl. Cook the egg (in your mini egg pan if possible).

While the egg is cooking, heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.

Mash your 1/4th avocado

Once your egg is done cooking, place on bread along with the mashed avocado and cheese slice

(Add pepper for taste if desired)

Butter each side of the bread thoroughly (this step is super important, it’s how my mom used to make us perfect grilled cheese)

Place in skillet for about a minute and a half on each side.

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Enjoy!

Dorm Dining: Spaghetti Squash

The roommates like to tease me about my kitchen concoctions. Quinoa was introduced to their vocabulary this past month and they had a hard time believing that it is a “protein-packed grain that dates back to the Indians.” Man, sometimes I really really really wish I was a Nutrition and Dietetics major…darn Chemistry classes. Anyways, you can only imagine their laughter when I came home with a spaghetti squash yesterday.

Side note: while cooking the squash in our teeny tiny oven, I was pulling the tray out and the rack fell sending boiling water all over me and the floor. Not fun.

Anyways, I hope you appreciate this recipe and eat a lot of it because it’s squash…which basically means it’s negative calories.

Spaghetti Squash

(make about 3-4 servings)

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1 spaghetti squash

1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 can of mushrooms (or any vegetable you would like to add to your sauce for added nutrients)

1 laughing cow swiss cheese wedge (or flavor of choice)

pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. Start cooking your spaghetti squash since it takes about 45 minutes. I have always used this method, although I’m sure google has plenty of other cooking methods.

2. While your squash is cooking, combined your spaghetti sauce and mushrooms in a bowl and heat

3. After the spaghetti squash is cooked and removed into a large bowl, add your laughing cow swiss cheese wedge and stir in till combined (you can skip this step if this doesn’t appeal to you, however, the cream cheese adds flavor and creaminess almost like butter)

4. Then simply dish out some “noodles,”  top with your sauce, pepper, and enjoy!

And just for kicks, here is the “dessert” the roommate and I have been consuming each night instead of running like we know we should.

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1/3 cup oats

handful of dark chocolate chips (more or less- depending on how your day has treated you)

spoonful of honey

Combine the oats and chocolate chips and microwave for 30-40 seconds

Stir melted chips and oats together and add honey

Enjoy know this was so much more enjoyable then running.

Homemade {Healthy} Hot Chocolate

After trying many, many times to make my own hot chocolate and utterly failing (unsweetened cocoa is bitter) I have finally found the perfect blend. Not to mention it consists of only two ingredients and no added sugar.

I really encourage you to try this recipe as store bought hot chocolate “powders” are loaded with sugars, chemicals, and ingredients that no one can pronounce and have no business putting in their body.

Please just take a look at the ingredients in Swiss Miss hot chocolate:

Ingredients: CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), HYDROGENATED COCONUT OIL, NONFAT MILK, SALT, LESS THAN 2% OF: DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, DEXTROSE, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, ACESULFAME POTATSSIUM, CARRAGEENAN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SUCRALOSE. 

The first two ingredients are corn syrup and sugar. Then comes the cocoa but it is processed with alkali which strips the chocolate of most of its antioxidants, anyways. Followed by  hydrogenated (saturated fat) coconut oil and then a bunch of ingredients that I don’t have the first clue of what they are.

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Hot Chocolate

1/2 teaspoon Unsweetened Cocoa

1 teaspoon Pure Maple Syrup

Stir ingredients in a hot cup of milk (steamed milk will help add some sweetness, but microwaved milk still tastes excellent).

Enjoy putting wholesome ingredients in your body. :)

I don’t know how, but the maple syrup perfectly sweetens the cocoa for a dark, rich flavor.

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Happy Hot Cocoa Drinking. 

Pumpkin Party

I am home for the first time in three months for Thanksgiving break! I am very thankful my school gave us the whole week off and today I celebrated by using a whole can of pumpkin to make three pumpkin recipes. Gosh, I miss having a kitchen.

{The good news is, two out of the three recipes turned out.}

After eating our families traditional Sunday brunch of eggs, bacon, and toast; I rolled up my sleeves, cracked open the pumpkin puree, and got to work.

To start off the party, I whipped up a pumpkin spice latte from a recipe I got from a friend. Sadly, the recipe did not turn out like Tish made them. I will share the recipe with you tomorrow and maybe you will have some advice because I would love for it to taste as good as before.

Next up was a loaf of Gina’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread which is my absolute favorite. Pumpkin and dark chocolate is a genius invention.

While the pumpkin bread was cooking I decided to use of the last of the pumpkin puree and make Pumpkin Butter.

And when the hot pumpkin bread came out of the oven, I couldn’t resist a hefty slice with some fresh pumpkin butter on top.

Clearly I am making up for the fact that as a child I was determined to detest pumpkin. Thank goodness for food bloggers who made it look so appealing.

Tomorrow I am spending the day with my mom and am super excited to spend time together and catch up with my best friend. :)

But for now, I’m off to watch White Christmas and eat some more pumpkin.

Happy Fall Y’all.

Dorm Room Fudge

I had my first baking experience in college this past Friday and it was hilarious. Obviously, my first thought was to document it for my blog.

It all started Monday when my friend was constantly reminding us that her birthday was Friday. Since it was fall break this weekend, most of our friends were gone so Katrina and I had planned to spend the day with the birthday girl and take her to lunch and help spend her birthday money. We still felt like we should get her something (but not very expensive!) and somehow we decided on microwavable fudge.

And instead of using the kitchen in the dorm, we decided to turn up the Christmas music, open up the window to the rainy outdoors, and make fudge in my room.

We did not have a sifter for the sugar, (which is very important or else you end up with chunks of powdered sugar in the fudge…not that we would know) so we stirred it with a fork for about 15 minutes.

We also did not have a large microwavable bowl (or any large bowl for that matter) so we mixed the ingredients in a pan (hence, the mess) and then transferred it into two small bowls to microwave and then back in the pan to stir.

Did I mention we accidentally made in on my roommates desk? I was cleaning our refrigerator while Katrina was going to start sifting sugar and before I realized what desk she used, it was too late. But don’t worry, we cleaned everything up and left it neater than it was before. :)

We also thought this would only take about 30 minutes but two hours later, we were still at it. (We did make two trays of it, though.)

And by the time we finished, the cafeteria was closed so we had to go to Mcalister’s Deli for dinner. I think they try to starve us on fall break…hence they close dinner at 6:00 and there is only one line open the whole weekend with the same food. Yum. :)

Much to our my surprise, the fudge actually turned out really good! We both pretty much ate a whole tray by ourselves.

And the best part? It really is easy to make. As long as you have a sifter. And a large bowl. And a kitchen.

Easiest-Ever Cocoa Fudge

Ingredients:

3 and 2/3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

(Optional: 1/2 cup chopped pecans)

Method:

Combine confectioners sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk in medium microwave proof bowl.

Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until butter is melted

Stir until mixture is smooth

Stir in nuts and vanilla and blend well

Spread evenly on a lightly buttered 8 inch square pan and let sit out till firm (or refrigerate for faster results)

Cut into 1 inch squares

Larabar Love

Ever since I became interested in eating healthy and learning about nutrition, I’m always on the look out for healthy snacks on the go.

And ever since the beginning, Larabar has been with me. They were one of the first healthy/all natural products I tried and have bought ever since. All Larabars are gluten-free also which is a major plus.

Recently I was sent some Larabars to try and review.

I was so excited to try the Cappuccino and taste its amazing-ness!

As usual, Larabar did not disappoint.

Want to win 16 Larabars? Enter the giveaway right here!

You Talk, I Listen.

Well, after a unanimous vote from the hundreds of comments this weekend, ;) energy bites were made!

Best. bites. ever.

This was the easiest recipe I have made in forever and it I almost feel like something this good shouldn’t be so easy to make.

But it is.

Lucky me.

And you.

The only “changes” I made was adding only 1/2 a cup of coconut (instead of one whole cup) and adding this chopped up dark chocolate espresso bean bar instead of chocolate chips. You can never have too much energy. :)

The only downside about these little pieces of heaven? The ability to just eat one for some “quick energy” is quite impossible. I won’t say how many I ate the first day I made them but I will tell you the number is between two and ten.

There is currently one ball left in the refrigerator. I made them Sunday afternoon.

Do Don’t do the math.

A Gluten Free Weekend

A couple of weekends ago, I spent the weekend with my sister who drove me all around Dallas to try many gluten-free goodies.

I wanted to share some of the places we went, so keep reading! I typed up half of this post earlier then it deleted itself so I am going to keep this short and sweet. :)

First stop, Wholesome Foods Bakery

Cake balls, granola bars, and pumpkin walnut muffins 

Everything was delicious (especially the muffins!) and highly recommended. If you are ever in Dallas, this should be on your list of places to eat.

Next was Patrizios for pasta!

(sorry for the not so stellar lighting!)

Needless to say, this was some of the best pasta I have had AND it was gluten-free! Patrizio’s has an entire gluten-free menu with a lot of variety…delicious.

We then stopped at Whole Foods to get some supplies for a night of baking!

Almond Butter  & Dark Chocolate Crispy Rice Treats (we used peanut butter instead of almond butter) 

Luscious Layer Bars  (I don’t even want to think about how many of these I consumed in two days!)

The next day we went to Costa Vida for the first time (YUM!) and also to a cupcake bar with gluten-free red velvet cupcakes (forgot to take a picture!).

Chipotle might just have some competition now….

To finish off the day, we went to a HUGE farmers market that is open every single day! It had so many goodies and was so inspiring to eat fresh food. :)

And that was our big gluten-free weekend! I have a pretty awesome sister. ;)

What is your favorite way to spend the weekend?

What is the best gluten-free food you have ever tried? 

I would go with the pasta from Patrizios or any yummy gluten-free cupcakes. I love cake.

Fudgy Almond Joy Protein Cake

Yep, you heard me right. This single serving cake is perfect for that chocolate craving that happens everyday once in a while. Not only does it taste like an almond joy, it’s relatively heathy  also (and gluten free).

Fudgy Almond Joy Protein Cake

adapted from SmoothieGirlEatsToo

serves one hungry person

  • Two egg whites
  • 3 TBS unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 TBS oat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 packet NuStevia Sweetener (or any sweetener- sugar, splenda, truvia etc.)
  • 1 TBS unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 1 TBS mini dark chocolate chips
  • 1-2 tsp unsweetened coconut (more or less according to your preference)
  • 1 TBS chopped almonds

Whisk all ingredients together in a large-bottomed bowl  EXCEPT chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds

Once the mixture is blended completely, stir in the almonds and chocolate chips.

Microwave on high for 2:30-4:30 minutes or once it looks cooked.

Flip onto a plate and top with coconut.

Fall in love.

Extra bonus about this delectable dessert (or snack) is that it is super filling! You know how I have been crazy hungry lately? Well, this suppressed my hunger. Instead of two desserts after dinner, which has been the norm lately, I only had this one. Score.

It’s so good it deserved two pictures. And a frame.

In Need of Energy.

Somedays, you just need a little extra something to get your day started. This week, the only motivating force that got me out of bed every morning was the thought of an energizing breakfast (okay and that it was one day closer to graduation).

3 egg whites, 1 egg yolk with sautéed mushrooms, squash, and zucchini + an apple 

Yum. Nevermind the fact that this yummy breakfast almost made me late to first period. The bell rang just as I was sitting my frazzled self down.

I have not much else to say other than I’m not looking forward to the weekend at all, which stinks. Working + 8 page Philosophy paper + 3 page English essay + Anatomy lab report + Government reading & notes = a very sad, annoyed Nicole. I think a trip to Starbucks for some energy and comfy study chairs is in order. Or I might just procrastinate and clean my room. Or eat.

What are you doing this weekend? Anything fun? Betcha can’t beat my weekend full of fun. ;)