Tag Archives: gluten free

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie

27 Apr

I received free samples of the Barlean’s products mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own; I was not compensated for my time.

Most Americans grew up eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Whether for breakfast, lunch or a last-minute run-out-the-door to your extracurricular activities dinner, PB&J was, and still is, a household staple.

If you asked younger Christina how to make the most perfect PB&J sandwich, she’d tell you it had to be on squishy soft bread, though a whole wheat variety is fine as well. The CREAMY peanut butter (no chunks here, folks!) had to be layered on thickly – something to sink your teeth into. And the jam, which was almost always homemade jam from my Oma (her strawberry-raspberry mix will always be my favorite), had to completely cover the peanut butter foundation. Slap on another slice of bread (not toasted, mind you), cut into two triangles, and there you have it! The ideal PB&J sandwich.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These days, however, I know better than to consume that amount of sugar and empty carbs for breakfast, or any meal for that matter. My bread is much more wholesome, the peanut butter is natural, or it might even be almond butter, and the jam is used sparingly, just to get a taste. I’m more apt to use fresh, sliced berries, or perhaps chia jam.

But if that all sounds like too much work, and too messy for your half-hour morning commute to work, this smoothie is just for you! It’s loaded with peanut butter and jelly taste, without all the added sugars and morning-slump-causing empty carbs. The beet juice goes unnoticed, except in color. (Trust me on this – I hate beets and would never propose you make a recipe wherein you can taste the beets!) The protein powder adds a nice boost to get you through the day, or to refuel after a workout. Finally, the Barlean’s Digestive Blend lends all the fiber, omega-3’s, antioxidants, vitamins & minerals that your body needs to keep things moving, and keep things clean, if you catch my drift.

In fact, Barlean’s Digestive Blend is a combination of all the good things you might find hard to work into your diet otherwise: flaxseed, quinoa, chia seeds, coconut, and a blend of warm spices. It’s also vegan, organic, kosher, GMO-free, and gluten-free!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! The prize pack is valued at over $200, and one lucky winner will get it all! This giveaway is open world-wide except where prohibited. A winner will be randomly drawn on April 29, at the conclusion of #RecipeMakeover, and the winner will be contacted via email.

Update: the Rafflecopter giveaway has ended.

#RecipeMakeover Giveaway | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 3/4 C cold water
  • 1/2 C prepared beet juice
  • 1 frozen, sliced banana
  • 1 C frozen blueberries (preferably wild blueberries)
  • 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter (or you could use real PB)
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp Barlean’s Digestive Blend

Add all ingredients to your blender and puree until completely smooth. I find it’s best to use the “ice crush” setting first, to break down the frozen fruit.

Serve in a glass, and enjoy cold!

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

20 Apr

Picture this: it’s 10 PM and you’re so hungry that your growling stomach is sure to keep you from falling asleep. So you grab some chocolate, or a handful of trail mix, or pretzels. Sound familiar?

But is 10 PM really the right time of day to eat? Most would argue it’s not wise. But do you understand the science behind it?

Today’s guest, Kevin Jones, shares how to determine when you should be eating. The recipe that follows is a great example of what you should be eating – a healthy, high-protein, dairy & gluten free dinner that’s perfect following a workout or simply a busy day at work!


Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Breaking Down the Details on the Best Times of the Day to Eat

About The Guest Author: Kevin Jones writes for a number of sites across the web, sharing his wisdom and expertise in the health and fitness industry. He has written extensively for NordicTrack and ProForm, offering out-of-the-box workout plans and nutritional advice. During his free time, he likes to be very active with his wife and two children, hitting the slopes of Park City, Utah or chasing down Salt Lake City’s Korean food trucks. Connect with him online; LinkedInTwitter.

My grandmother – a very opinionated woman – has always been very vocal about the way you should eat, and when. Her philosophy, passed to me in my formative years, was that you eat heavy in the morning, heavier in the afternoon, and light in the evening. “And none of that silly no-fat nonsense…give me my butter, or lose a hand!”

For a long time I ignored these lessons, eating with the gusto and carefree nature of youth. Now that I am older, and I have to think of weight gain, heart health, and indigestion, I have started wondering if she was right.

We all know that healthy food is good food. But what are the best times to eat it?

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Erratic Diets and The Harm They Do

Eating irregularly is bad for you. That might seem like a drastic statement, but it has been shown to be true again and again. A study by Harvard University found that just a few days of eating on an opposing schedule could cause serious sugar and insulin spikes where none had been present before.

Another study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that nighttime eating could cause an increase in weight gain. Still another found that late eating impacted circadian rhythms and disrupted sleep patterns.

So, to recap, eating late at night, or just in a way that is different than your usual pattern of meals, can screw with your blood sugar levels, your sleep, and even make you fat. That seems like a pretty serious thing to me.

Eating Post Workout

Another factor to keep in mind is when working out. Exercise taxes the body, eats up all the food-provided energy in the system, and puts strain and tears within muscles that need to be repaired. Protein rich snacks or meals following intense activity are crucial for the body to function properly.

But did you know dehydration may keep you from getting the nutrients you need? Long distance runners are familiar with runner’s trots. But anyone can experience diarrhea following a workout, often sparked by improper hydration.

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

What All This Tells Us

We can make a couple of assumptions about diet based on the above facts. First, eating late at night is a no-no. Second, proper hydration is crucial for proper nutrient retention. Third, our bodies are delicate tools that have to be properly balanced.

Eat well, eat often, and don’t eat too late. Oh, and keep drinking water. While the eight glasses a day rhetoric may be a myth, the need for keeping ourselves nice and hydrated is not.


Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

With that in mind, here’s a protein rich meal that’s great for dinner! Tofu’s texture is not for everyone, but when pressed and roasted, it’s much more palatable! Pair this with a simple puree of roasted vegetables, and you’ve got dinner in the bag. Enjoy!

Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 block firm tofu, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper – to roast
  • 1/2 C vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Roasted pepitas, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with oil.

Wrap the drained tofu block in a clean tea towel and place a heavy object on top of it, like a heavy pan or book. Let this sit while you prep the veggies.

Chop all the veggies – neatness doesn’t count in this recipe! Lay them out on one of the baking sheets with the garlic and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir a bit and make sure the veggies are in a single layer. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Slice the pressed tofu into long, thin strips. Place in a single layer on the second baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until dry and crispy. It’s best to put the tofu in the oven 10 minutes after the vegetables have been in.

Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to a blender, along with the warmed vegetable stock, seasonings, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, taking care to let steam escape from the lid by removing the middle piece and holding a towel loosely over the top. Taste and adjust as desired.

Pour the vegetable puree into four bowls. Top with the roasted tofu strips and garnish with roasted pepitas. Enjoy hot!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} – Another “Star Trek: First Contact” Party!

6 Apr

Yesterday, we celebrated another First Contact Day! Yep, it’s that time of year again, when we observe the future meeting between humans and the alien race from Vulcan. April 5, 2063 draws ever closer, which of course required another party. Check out this post if you have no idea what I’m talking about – it’s a Star Trek thing 🙂

Chris did a fabulous job setting the apartment to Red Alert; the Tribbles were multiplying out of control; Trek trivia was being thrown about throughout the night; food and drink were enjoyed by all.

We began by watching the two-part The Next Generation two-episode story “All Good Things,” which was a nice way to kick off what was to come of encounters with the Borg. Spoiler: Resistance is Futile!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Picard becomes a Borg and green shots reverse our polarity.

After settling into our seats on the Bridge, we turned on the movie Star Trek: First Contact. Collectively (no, not the Borg Collective), I think we had the movie memorized by now! This was, after all, our 4th annual First Contact Day party.

Aside from actually buying a replicator to make food for the party, we did an excellent job embodying all that is Star Trek for some eats and treats.

Of course the Tribbles made an appearance, in the form of paleo coconut macaroons!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Tribble Coconut Macaroons – I think Kirk would have preferred these to the actual Tribbles!

Odo’s baked Bruschetta was a popular snack. Picard’s cheese board delighted all. Isolinear chips & dip were nice to nibble on. Polarity-Reversing Gravity Bombs were sure to knock us back a lightyear or two. Alvinian Melons provided a fruity side, along with some Vulcan vegetables.

Science and Engineering cupcakes brought some sweetness to our away missions (you’ll notice the red shirts were mysteriously gone…). I made these paleo chocolate cupcakes, which are gluten- and dairy-free, and topped them with mint and orange versions of the frosting from last year’s Cellular Peptide cake!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Science & Engineering cupcakes!

Bajoran Hasperat gave us something spicy to enjoy. Traditionally, “it was made using a specially prepared brine, which if made correctly would cause the eyes to water and sear the tongue.” However, in an effort so spare our eyes and tongues, I simply made pinwheels using low carb tortillas, plain vegan cream cheese, hot sauce and sweet red peppers. Details below!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Bajoran Hasperat makes a delicious pinwheel appetizer!

Finally, I made “Mool,” which is essentially a pot of baked beans, but way better! This is a slow cooker recipe, which makes it perfect for chilly days or busy parties. These beans are vegan, with no added fat. Oh, and they’re made with a bottle of beer, so you know it’s gonna be good 🙂 See below for the recipe!

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans} and Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels} - Another "Star Trek: First Contact" Party! | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These beer baked beans are great no matter the occasion!

Hasperat {Spicy Pepper Vegan Pinwheels}, adapted from the Star Trek Cookbook

Makes 24 Pinwheels

  • 6 8″ low carb tortillas
  • 6 tbsp plain vegan cream cheese
  • 6 sweet twister peppers
  • 6 tsp hot sauce (more or less, to your liking)

Cut the tops and tips off of the peppers. Remove seeds and slice them thinly, lengthwise.

Spread one tablespoon of cream cheese onto a tortilla. In a line down the middle, drizzle/spread a teaspoon of hot sauce. Lay one pepper’s worth of slices onto the tortilla and roll it up tightly, as you would sushi. Slice off the ends of the rolled tortilla, then cut each tortilla into 4 equal pinwheels.

Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve with toothpicks on the side. You’ll notice that I made half of mine “mild” – I left off the hot sauce because not all of our guests like spicy foods.

Mool {Vegan Beer Baked Beans}, adapted from the Star Trek Cookbook

Serves 6-8

  • 1 lb dried Navy beans
  • Water to cover, plus about 2 cups to add halfway through
  • 1 bottle beer (such as a Maple Scotch ale)
  • ¼ C molasses
  • 2 tbsp German mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, except* the two extra cups of water, into your crockpot. Turn it on high and let cook for 8-10 hours.

About half way through, add the extra water and stir. This is necessary so your beans don’t burn, and they become cooked through.

*If you will be gone for the duration of cooking time, just add the extra water at the beginning with everything else.

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