Posts tagged ‘Avocado’

February 28, 2013

Homemade Taco $easoning

You know you’re a bad blogger when you forget your username and password at sign in. Add on the fact that WordPress got a whole new look since the last time you logged on? Yeah, I officially feel like sh!t. To be honest, I don’t know where my lovespiration for my little place on the good ol’ interweb has gone lately. I’ll blame my incredible job for draining most of my creative mojo from my noggin’. So why I am I trying to get back into things again after almost three whole months of being out of the blogosphere? For one, I’ve felt guilty. Guilty that friends on LinkedIn have been endorsing my blogging skill. (Hey, thumbs up for that!) Guilty that–my big head is talking here, naturally–I’ve been keeping my favorite peeps in the dark. But more importantly, I feel guilty for feeling guilty, if that makes any sense at all. I miss blabbing about the things I sometimes question people actually read. Let me take a quick moment to thank some encouraging tweets and Facebook messages as of late that have spurred my revival: “@soybeanflan: Whenever I want to eat something terrible I think #WWLCD ‘what would @SprinkledwLove do’ then I’m snapped back into reality” and from a talented artist that I know, “I think you should upload workouts!!! I’ve already done your sexy arm one you posted on insta!!! It’s not everyday that a gal who’s intimidated by weights (me) sees a girl who looks amaze not be intimidated by them and actually know what they’re doing!!!!” You guys…I’m blushing! And yes, I’ll try to do more workout-based posts. They’re in the works!

Holy guacamole!

So with that being said, I’m sick of switching off my brain after leaving the office each day and having a rather unproductive personal life, creatively speaking. I mean, I’ve been finding pleasure (loser alert!) editing my sister’s scholarship essays lately. Like, ew. I have a brand new computer and rarely touch it–instead spending my down time serial watching Netflix and Hulu+. Ahem, I’m almost fully caught up on the first season of Revenge. Come on, though…can you blame me on that? To get back in the swing of things, I’d like to present you with the epic, Oscar-worthy taco salad I chopped up this past Sunday for myself and my main squeeze. After watching a little Guy Fieri on the treadmill and diving into the documentary Hungry For Change (haven’t seen it? Welp, you need to…) I was inspired to create my own taco seasoning. Who needs the sodium-laden, pricy packets from the store when you have all of the ingredients already in your pantry? Get ready to get saucy.

Here’s all you need to spice up your [salad] life:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon minced onion
Pinch of dried oregano and crushed red pepper flakes
Black pepper and salt to taste

Mix into a pound or so of ground meat or block of tofu, alongside chopped jalapeño, sautéed mushrooms and frozen corn. Add alongside a heap of black beans, cheese, avocado slices, crumbled chips and tomatoes over a bed of greens and holy guacamole, you’re ready for a healthy foodie fiesta! Hint: fresh cilantro. Just do it.
Do you make your own seasonings and dressings?

Sprinkled with Love[ly, taco spices],

August 7, 2012

Green Monster

I love sneaking veggies into my smoothies, especially after a long run for that extra little oomph I need to recover. Yesterday, after completing the hilly, humid and hot soundRUNNER Sea Leg Shuffle, all I could think about was a green smoothie. In. My. Belly. And fast. The fact that there was basically NO food left after I completed my 10 miles (um, thanks 5k participants for hogging ALL the watermelon) certainly didn’t quench any post-workout fuel need. So once I got home, guess what I did? I made a killer green monster smoothie. It was powerful and just what I needed, despite the fact it was a little scary looking. Full of greens, healthy fats and, of course, protein. 

8 oz. almond milk (or soy, coconut, water, etc.)
1 scoop of protein powder (I’m loving my new Vanilla Garden of Life)
Handful of spinach or other greens
1/2 of an avocado
1/2 of a frozen banana
2 tablespoons of chia
2 tablespoons of hemp hearts
1 teaspoon spirulina (so energizing!)
Stevia, vanilla extract and ice, if necessary

Yes, it was the same color as grass, but it tasted great. I pinky promise. Reminder: I prefer my smoothies on the thicker side and eat them with a spoon! Therefore, add liquid as needed. Who needs frozen yogurt or  ice cream when you can make a smoothie in a bowl? Oh and in case you were wondering, I finished in 1:30:43 (which is 9:05 splits). I’m pretty content with that, considering the grueling weather circumstances. Although it was rough and a mental challenge, physically I felt strong. I’m confident my second half-marathon is in the near future. That makes me really happy.
Do you like green drinks?

Sprinkled with Love,

May 10, 2012

Citrusy Chicken with Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa

It’s hard to believe that I was a vegetarian for over a year simply because I love chicken. Heck, chicken is one of the main reasons I reverted back to my carnivorous ways a few years ago. That and the fact that I seriously lacked the necessary amount of protein in my diet as a college freshman who hated dining hall food options. This recipe made me re-fall in love with chicken. Marinated overnight in a simple combination of orange, lemon and lime juice, thrown on the grill for some char marks and topped with a spicy but sweet salsa, I can proudly say it’s a home run. Perfect for the surge of summer barbecues around the corner! Keep in mind we were serving many hungry bellies so cut the recipe down as you see fit!

12 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
1 cup orange juice
Juice from one lime and one lemon
6 garlic cloves

Combine the citrus juices and pour into a resealable plastic bag (or multiple if needed). Add in the chicken breasts, throw in the garlic cloves and let marinade in the refrigerator for 4+ hours. Like I said, I let the chickies soak in the flavorful goodness overnight, giving the bag a nice shake every time I had my head in there for a snack…which is often.  

1 1/2 cups pineapple
1/2 cup red bell pepper
1/2 cup green bell pepper
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 jalapeño
Juice from one lime
1/2 cup chopped tomato, or two small romas
Heaping tablespoon of cilantro

Nothing too daunting here but oh so fresh. Simply chop up and combine all of the ingredients, allowing for the juices to mingle and hangout with one another in the fridge before serving. While that’s happening, fire up the grill and let it do its magic! Serve with the salsa as a side or throw it right on top of the chicken for you and your guests to enjoy. Sprinkled a little extra cilantro on there and add a lime wedge to the plate. Is your mouth watering or what? With the other recipes including tequila and avocado I didn’t think this one needed it but if those ingredients strike your fancy, throw ’em on in! I bet it would be divine.
Could you ever go cold turkey (er, I mean chicken in this case?) and give up a food you love?  

Sprinkled with Love,

February 25, 2012

Spicy Lime Protein Lettuce Cups

I started cutting down on my carb and processed food intake right around the summertime. I was sick of how bloated I felt, my constant irregularity (TMI? sorry, but it’s true…) and simply believed that if I weaned off of my faithful cereals, pastas and breads, I would have to incorporate more nutritious foods into my diet. I did and, quite honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made. People think it’s weird that I crave a big bowl of greens topped with an assortment of veggies or have a piece of fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth. Heck, they see my portion sizes and don’t understand where it all goes. Straight to fuel, ladies and gentleman! But at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what other people think. It’s about taking control of your health and feeling GOOD. I can’t tell you how much of an affect (for the better!) this decision has had on my exercise alone. Add in no more bloat, clearer skin and more energy and you can see that the proof is in the (most likely chia) pudding! I’m not going to lie, it’s a tough transition and takes some getting used to, but after months of clean, healthy eating, I decided last weekend to go full out gluten-free. I’ve done a ton of research, have stocked up on amaranth, quinoa, etc. from my local food stores and am excited for what this decision will bring for my overall well-being AND Sprinkled with Love. 

I mean, this was a food blog at one point wasn’t it? I didn’t use to ramble as much about my life and I sure as hell didn’t waste time explaining myself time after time as to my lack of blogging. Hopefully I can get back to posting recipes now that you understand the madness behind a lot of raw ingredients and clean eats. As I’ve come to realize after all my dietary experimentation, you are whatcha eat! Ok, ok. You get it. Enough of me blabbing away. Let’s look at what I made for dinner last weekend for the boyf. Flavorful, filling and hm, another “f” word…not the one you’re thinking of, FRESH. Oh and finger-food is always fun, right? Fabulous.

(Inspired by Keep Your Diet Real)
1 block of extra-firm tofu, cubed
3 green onions, diced
Juice from 2 limes
1 large red pepper, diced
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups quinoa (follow cooking directions on package)
1 can black beans, rinsed and dried
1 1/2 cups of fresh, hot salsa
A head of bibb lettuce for wrapping (or any leafy, rollable green!)
1 thinly sliced avocado
Extras to serve with: hot sauce (or cayenne pepper), salt, pepper and extra salsa   

Now, this recipe is by no means difficult. Simply rinse and prepare the quinoa according to the box’s directions. While that is simmering, sauté the tofu cubes in a sprayed pan. Feel free to add some minced garlic in there for a little more flavor. Next, slice and dice the rest of the ingredients before combining with the salsa and beans.

Once the quinoa and tofu are done, let it cool before putting everything together in a large bowl with the lime juice. Refrigerate before serving. I would have LOVED to have wrapped them in kale, swiss chard or collard greens but I didn’t think Mike would like that as much. I’m such a considerate girlfriend!

Spoon the quinoa salad into the lettuce cups, add a slice of avocado and extra salsa. Wrap it up and dig in! The spicy lime quinoa itself is great to top a salad or eat on its own. I really enjoyed the leftovers…full of protein, veggies plus gluten-free!  
Are you a lettuce wrap lover? What’s your favorite thing to wrap up in greens?

Sprinkled with Love,

October 28, 2011

Natural Pumpkin Oatmeal “Cuffins”

I recently stumbled upon Raw Is Sexy, the fabulous blog of a Californian raw chef and plant based wellness coach who transforms everyday favorites into natural, vegan recipes. When I saw her Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies, I couldn’t resist and whipped up a batch right away with a few tweaks.

After a long day, these little buggers were just what the doctor ordered. Is it just me or are cookies the best medicine? I wasn’t alone in my love for this culinary creation. My roommates and friends raved about them…I had too many leftovers lying around and although these are guilt-free I simply HAD to give some away before I ate the entire batch! Taylor coined the name “cuffins,” based on the fact that they taste like healthy muffins in cookie form. The name stuck. 

1/2 cup of water
2 cups flaxseed meal
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 whole avocado
1 cup of pitted medjool dates
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree
1 1/2 ripe bananas, mashed
Dash of stevia, and vanilla extract
Option additions: chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
*Next time I will experiment with using more pumpkin puree and less bananas because the flavor wasn’t as predominately pumpkin as I had wished

To start, place the avocado, water and medjool dates in the food processor. Blend until smooth.

Next, combine your dry ingredients. 

Mash up your banana and add it to your the avocado mixture with the pumpkin puree. Fold in the dry ingredients.

Time for the fun part! Roll into balls and place onto a lightly sprayed cookie sheet. I may have eaten a spoonful or two of the batter in the process…

Set the oven to 350°F and bake for 10-15 minutes before indulging!

Quick, easy and delicious. Go ahead, have two or three. They’re healthy! Pumpkin Oatmeal “Cuffins” are great days later heated up in the toaster oven, too. Add a cold glass of soy milk and you have yourself a great afternoon pick-me-up. I even crumbled one up on top of my Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal the other morning. Doesn’t get much better than that! Healthy cookies with no added sugar, eggs, butter or flour? Yep, that just happened. Enjoy!

Sprinkled with Love,

August 3, 2011

Yep, Another Salad Recipe Coming At Ya!

So I bet you’re probably getting sick of all my salad posts right about now. I’m sorry…I really am but when the humidity is so thick you can cut the air with a knife, the only thing that gets my taste buds goin’ are crisp greens. Why not soak up all the fresh ingredients you can get while they are in season, right? While skimming through the recipes on one of my favorite blogs, With Style & Grace, I came across this Chickpea and Basil Salad and stopped dead in my tracks. You all know by now that I adore chickpeas. Add in my favorite herb, basil, and you’ve got yourself a winner in my book. So needless to say, I made it (with minor changes) shortly after my discovery, spooned some over mixed greens and loved it. Best thing about it? It is ridiculously easy. Perfect after a rough day of lounging by a pool…

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 a carton of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 english cucumber, quartered
1 1/2 red bell peppers, diced (1 would do just fine!)
3 scallions, diced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Juice from 2 small lemons
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper
Optional toppings: crumbed cheeses (i.e. goat or feta) and/or slices of avocado

The directions are super tedious so get your thinking caps on. Just kidding! All you have to do is chop, dice and cut everything up before combining it all into a large bowl. Whisk together the vinaigrette and drizzle over the veggie/bean mix. Season and let marinate before topping a salad, pasta or eating as is. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite herb?

Sprinkled with Love,

July 26, 2011

Black-Eyed Pea Salad

It has been hot, hot, hot the past few days and the only things I’ve been able to eat are light salads or fruit. Not too shabby of a diet, if I do say so myself, especially since I’ve been living in a bikini! To change up my typical veggie-topped spinach salad for dinner, I decided to create my own Black-Eyed Pea Salad the other night. It was the perfect summer meal with fresh, seasonal ingredients, plus super filling!

3 tomatoes
3 corn on the cobs
3 cans of black-eyed peas
A bunch of green onions
1/2 of a red bell pepper
1/2 of a jalapeño
1 cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice from half of a lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

First things first, get your grill fired up. After shucking off the husks, lightly brush each ear of corn with olive oil and place on the grill rack. (You can soak your corn for 2 to 4 hours prior to grilling if preferred. I got lazy and listened to my stomach instead of my head (oops?), although I honestly can’t tell a difference between soaked and not-soaked grilled corn.) 

While the corn gets all toasty and lightly charred, begin preparing the other ingredients. FYI: The order in which you do so doesn’t matter. Open the cans of black-eyed peas, rinse and drain thoroughly. Blot with a paper towel until dry, if necessary.

Once the corn is ready, remove it from the grill and set aside to cool down. Dice up the tomatoes and bell pepper. Slice and quarter the cucumbers. Chop the jalapeño and mince the clove of garlic.

Carefully cut the corn off the cob and combine all the ingredients together! Whisk the dressing (the red wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil) before drizzling over the salad. Mix everything thoroughly and chill before serving. 

As you can see, I topped mine with avocado slices! So colorful, so good. Bon appétit!
Do you get sick of the same old salad? How do you change ’em up for a new and improved meal?

Sprinkled with Love,

July 1, 2011

Cross It Off the Bucket List

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a fabulous week. Here’s a look at what’s been going on with me lately. As I mentioned in my last post, it was my sister’s graduation last weekend so I wanted to give you a quick glance at the celebratory festivities first and foremost. Congrats Kru! You made it!

The graduation was postponed Thursday evening due to the bad weather so we all woke up bright and early Friday for the rescheduled ceremony. Luckily, the rain held off for the Class of 2011 to march to Pomp and Circumstance and grab their diplomas!

Saturday was Kristen’s graduation party. The food (half of it being catered for convenience purposes) got rave reviews but the fruit salad in particular, the presentation courtesy of my father’s “famous” pineapple trick, was my personal favorite. I’m pretty sure half of that big bowl was consumed by yours truly, alone…my stomach is still thanking me for that.

Although I would have loved to help make a few dishes, I was quite busy catching up with visiting family members and enjoying some much-needed R&R so I contributed by making a simple punch. Two liters of raspberry lime seltzer + one 64-ounce Ocean Spray Light Cranberry Raspberry Juice + a bag of frozen raspberries + lime slices = perfection. For my over 21-year-old crowd, add some cranberry or raspberry flavored vodka and you have yourself a great cocktail. 

Before I knew it, it was Monday again and I was back on the train to New York. Tuesday was super exciting because I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Giada De Laurentiis! Words can’t even begin to describe…such an amazing experience. What did I ask? What did I learn? Find out soon at The Fit Stop. I’ll keep you posted!

I had to show you Tuesday’s romantic train ride dinner for one: Chicken & Avocado Salad (topped with Lentil & Couscous Salad) drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette from Pret A Manger! Can you tell I was ravenous? Every last bite was consumed and 5 miles were ran once I got home thanks to the boost in energy! After a very busy day in the office on Wednesday, I attended an Ed2010 event about the do’s and don’ts of interning. Really great stuff! A fellow intern, TK, and I ended up going to Havana afterwards for some Cuban cuisine. I got the Ensalada De Pollo A La Parilla (Grilled Chicken Salad) for an incredibly affordable $9.00. (Of course I took a photo but it didn’t turn out well, wahh!) TK and I couldn’t believe our bill was just over $20, not that we were complaining! We ended up crashing on another intern’s couch for the night after sitting in Bryant Park and chatting under the twinkling lights of the NYC skyline for a bit. Isn’t it funny how comfortable you feel right off the bat with someone who shares a lot in common with you? We both joked the entire night how we felt like we had known each other for years, rather than days.

The first month of my internship is now behind me and I cannot believe how fast it whizzed by. I have been learning so much, meeting incredible people I will be sure to stay in touch with in the future and even got to cross something off my bucket list! Someone PLEASE pinch me. After getting off the train yesterday morning and squeezing in a quick upper body workout at the gym, I relaxed poolside with Chelsea. We flipped through magazines, chatted about our week and bronzed our pasty bods. Sounds like one solid afternoon to me! At 5:30 we headed over to a favorite local restaurant of mine, The Guilford Bistro & Grille Cafe, for a mother/daughter dinner. How priceless is that picture?

I got the Montego Bay salad (arugula and fennel with balsamic vinaigrette) topped with grilled salmon and asked for some cucumbers and grilled asparagus to be thrown on there. Delicious!

A bottle of red and a bottle of white were polished off, four massive meals were enjoyed (with endless MMmmm’s! inserted here and there) and girly giggles were muffled by napkins, as we tried to not disturb other patrons enjoying the outside dining. Such a pleasant way to end the week before a long holiday weekend! Bring on the fireworks!
If you could meet one celeb who would it be? What would you ask them if you had the opportunity?

Sprinkled with Love,

June 11, 2011

An Assortment of Recap Ramblings

Hi! Hi, hi, hi! Have you missed me? Sorry for my absence. I feel like I have some explaining to do! First off, it has been quite a crazy week. Let’s just say I had my fair share of traveling. Between commuting in and out of NYC, running errands/getting pampered Thursday (I know, oh poor, Lauren…) and being in Jersey for a wedding this weekend, I’m pooped. I’m looking forward to hanging in on this rainy evening (see you in a bit, Gossip Girl Season 2) and catching up on sleep.

My internship officially began on Monday and I’m loving it. Time flies because I enjoy what I’m doing and it sounds corny, but I can’t stop smiling! I’m learning a lot, have met some great people already and sincerely look forward to the exciting things the next two months or so have to offer. After getting over the first day jitters, I was able to relax a bit on Tuesday, especially after running into a friend from high school on the train. We decided to meet up in Bryant Park for some grub during our hour lunch break and to take advantage of the wonderful weather, of course. Win.

I am proud that I not only was able to find my way there, but was also able to do so in a timely manner with a half hour to spare! (Note: Bryant Park is only a 9 minute walk from the office I’m working at…I took a few wrong turns along the way.) I attribute much of my success to Google Maps yet, being as directionally challenged as I am, I was slightly surprised to have the time to sit down and enjoy lunch in addition to my travel time. What was lunch, you ask? Spinach salad with edamame, carrots, asparagus, avocado, tomatoes and tofu lightly drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. Hit the spot!

After being in and out of the city (which is around a 2 1/2 hour commute both ways) and waking up at 4:45 each day to start my morning with a 3 mile run, I needed some “me time” on Thursday in preparation for the wedding I was to attend. A gym sesh of free weights and core work followed by a mani/pedi with a book from the Sookie Stackhouse series (in which True Blood is based on) sounded like a good day off to me! I Need A Vacation on my toes and Ballet Slippers on my fingers. Gotta love dainy pink polishes!

SOoooo…that brings me to yesterday/today: Mike’s cousin’s wedding! I haven’t been to a wedding since I was seven-years-old, so I was very excited. The ceremony was very beautiful, the reception was a blast and the food was delightful. Congratulations Kelly and Aaron! I took a gamble not trying on the dress before purchasing it in the city with Taylor on Wednesday, yet it ended up fitting perfectly. So comfortable, too. I channeled my inner Blake Lively with wavy locks, although my hair refused to cooperate in the humid air. Anyway, there’s my recap for my hectic week. I’m off to make some dinner: a weird combo of this, this and this…don’t judge.One last thing before I go: I’m working on a Father’s Day gift guide post and need your help! What do you think is the perfect present for Dad?

Sprinkled with Love,

June 2, 2011

Sweet Summertime

I’ve been pretty nostalgic lately. Maybe it’s the fact that being home and sleeping in the same room I’ve slept in since kindergarten has finally sank in. Or maybe it has been the catching up, immature giggles and cocktails with my two best friends from high school, alongside the run-ins from old classmates wherever I may go. Come to think of it, you know what could very well be the nostalgia culprit? My new obsession with Gossip Girl. I’ve watched half of the first season in a matter of days. I think I have a problem. Regardless, let me summarize my overall weirdness by saying I got teary eyed listening to Trace Adkins’ “You’re Gonna Miss This” while driving through my neighborhood…

Whatever this emotional stint may be/be about, I have decided not to fight it. Instead, I’ve allowed it to inspire me, especially when it came to making one of my favorite summertime meals the other night: Spinach and Strawberry Salad. Although I lost the original recipe my friend, Amy, and I used to make, I decided to improvise a bit using Fitness Magazine’s Mesclun Strawberry Salad as a guide. It ended up tasting great, especially with grilled chicken on top. Avocado mixed in would have been divine, but my local grocery store was all out so I had to manage without my favorite ingredient. Besides that, it was pretty darn perfect. Oh, the taste of sweet summertime!

(Yields 2 servings)
2.5 ounces spinach
8 large strawberries (or more if you love ’em like me!)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 of a lemon
Freshly chopped basil to taste (less than 1/4 cup?)
2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese
Handful or two of walnuts
One avocado, cubed
3 small chicken breasts

Start by throwing your chicken on the grill. I was so hungry I didn’t marinate it but feel free to do so if you would like. I bet it would compliment the salad well if marinated in a strawberry vinaigrette! Next, hull and slice the strawberries. In a large bowl, add in the spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, avocado (if desired) and walnuts. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients and chopped basil.

Once the chicken is done, finish assembling the salad. Drizzle with the dressing, mix it all up and serve! Delicious! Light but sweet and filling with the chicken. Add a pinch of salt alongside a little honey or agave nectar to the dressing if need be.

In other news, I have been trying to get my act together these past few days in preparation for the start of life in the real world and the ever-so-dreaded, intense commuting schedule. Task number one: tackle my bomb of a room.

I would have taken a “Before” to compare to this “After” photo, but it was far too embarrassing to share with you all. Good as new, now. It’s funny how much better you feel in a tidy space. Please note my beautiful bottle of lemoncello brought back from Florence, Italy, courtesy of my besties. 

Next project: organizing the closet by type for easy access and outfit arrangement (jackets>tanks>short sleeved shirts>dresses>oxfords>cardigans). Can you tell I have a ‘thing’ for navy blue stripes? Yeesh…

To make my stripe addiction more apparent, I would like to introduce you to today’s glorious Steve Madden purchase. They can be laceless and feel like a sneaker. Perfect for running around NYC in! Hi, I like you. Boy, am I am a sucker for seersucker…

Last but not least on my agenda was to start compiling a summer reading list. I love having free time to read during my time off from school and what better way to keep me occupied on the train!? Thanks to my wonderful Twitter followers, I have a nice list going already…
Do you have must-read suggestions? What is a theme in your closet? 

Sprinkled with Love,