banana chia seed pancakes

DSC_0069March is here!  Even though I’m sitting home as the snow falls steadily outside, I know (or am just hoping and praying), that spring is around the corner.  It has to be, because I can’t take much more of the bone chilling temperatures and the slush.  In a few more weeks I know the snow will melt and it will be warm enough to actually enjoy going outside again on the weekends.  And that leads me to my most favorite weekend activity: brunch.  All the delicious options at brunch can be overwhelming.  I usually can’t decide what to order until my husband caves and agrees to split several dishes with me.  I also love making brunch at home (see here and here and here) as examples.

DSC_0067Brunch confections can be on the unhealthy side, so I like to experiment at home with healthier, tasty options.  I recently made these greek yogurt, chia seed pancakes that are gluten and refined sugar free.  They’re made with ripe bananas and chia seeds for extra fiber and protein.  I’m a huge proponent that meal planning and prepping leads to a healthier life style.  I love to make a big batch of these on Sundays and have them to grab as a quick breakfast during the week.  Heat them up (or not!), spread a little nut butter or a top with sliced strawberries and you’re good to go.  Recipe is below, enjoy! xo

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Banana – Chia Seed Pancakes (gluten and sugar free): 

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten free)
  • 1/2 tspn baking powder
  • 1 container 0% plain greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 1/2 tspn vanilla
  • 1/2 tspn cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbspn chia seeds

Instructions:

Add the oats to a food processor and pulse until they are a ground, flour like consistency.  Add the next 7 ingredients and blend until combine.  Put the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the chia seeds.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and add fat of choice (I used coconut oil but you could also use ghee or regular butter).  Pour the mixture into rounds and cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides.  The batter will bubble when the pancake is ready to be flipped.  Top with fresh fruit, more yogurt, nut butter, or real maple syrup.  So yummy!  Enjoy.


jewels & discount codes with Rocksbox and The Shopping Bag

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Necklace and double gold bangle c/o Rocksbox, spike cuff c/o The Shopping bag, Rebecca Minkoff stackable rings 

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Gorjana earrings c/o Rocksbox 

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I’m excited to share some great accessories and coupon codes with you guys today!  It’s been absolutely freezing outside and I’ve been living in the same three chunky sweaters and my oversized puffy coat.  The only way I’ve felt like varying my outfits is through fun, statement accessories.  Have you guys heard of Rocksbox yet?  It’s a monthly subscription for jewels and sends you a new, fun box of accessories each month.  You guys can sign up to get a month free using the code SWEETESTSOMETHINGSXOXO.  

DSC_0095DSC_0104I’m also obsessed with my new spike cuff.  Cuffs are always too big on me and this one fits my wrist perfectly and is the perfect item to stack with other bracelets.  There are so many great accessories over at The Shopping Bag, and you can use the code SWEETESTSOMETHINGS for 25% off your order!

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The coupon codes are good for one month from today, so get shopping!  How do you guys change up you look in the colder months? xo

 


arugula, brie, & purple potato salad

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Brrr!  It’s freezing lately in NY and all I’ve wanted to do is hibernate inside, watch movies, and make delicious things to eat.  Between the weather and our move (we moved three weeks ago into a new place and town), I’ve been so busy and completely forgetting to blog.  However, I have been cooking a lot in our new home since I finally unpacked all of our wedding gifts, most of which were kitchen items.  Even though I’ve been cooking a ton I’m  usually halfway through the meal when I mumble to my myself that I wish I would have blogged the recipe because it’s so good.

I knew in advance that this salad would be a winner so I planned some time to make it for lunch and take some semi-decent photos to entice you guys to make it.  And make it you should, because it is one of the most delicious salad combos I’ve ever had.  It’s actually a recreation of a salad I had in a pub in the city a few weeks back.  It was such a tasty and interesting combination of ingredients I knew I had to make it at home.  I made a huge bowl of it thinking I would snack on leftovers but my husband and I devoured the entire thing in one sitting.  Recipe and instructions are below.  Enjoy!

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The base was a combo of baby arugula, watercress, and shaved brussels sprout.  Such an unexpected but delicious base.

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The tasty add ins: cooked purple potatoes, chopped dried figs, and goat brie cheese (amazing).

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Creamy shallot vinaigrette made with greek yogurt & champagne vinegar.

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The finished product…

DSC_0041Arugula, Brie, and Purple Potato Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette: 

For the salad-

  • A base of baby arugula, watercress, and shaved (or really thinly sliced) brussels sprouts.
  • 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 package sliced goat brie
  • 1 cup (about 7 large dried figs), chopped
  • 7-8 small purple potatoes, cooked and sliced

For the dressing-

  • 1/2 cup 0% fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 shallot
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and papper to taste

Steps & Notes:

Mix all your greens in a large bowl.  Top with the remaining 4 salad ingredients.  When you are cooking the potatoes make sure they don’t get too done.  You don’t want them to be mashing consistency, just soft enough to slice, so they still have some bite to them.  I just boiled them but you could also roast them.  Allow them to cool before tossing them into the salad.  Also, if you can’t find goat brie regular brie would work just fine.  Something about the goat brie was so delicious though I would take an extra glance around the cheese counter to try and find it.  For the dressing, add the first 5 ingredients to the food processor and turn on, drizzling in the olive oil.  When the dressing reaches your desired consistency turn off the food processor and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the salad with the dressing and enjoy!

 


bundled for a blizzard

DSC_0006Banana Republic shirt, Gap sweater, DKNY jacket, Paige denim, Converse sneakers, Tory Burch bag, H&M scarf, Rayban sunglasses

A lot of you asked me about the shirt I’m wearing (available in navy here) on instagram, so I thought I would throw it on and take some pics over the weekend.  Same shirt, different day, pretty much the story of my winter.  Between moving and the blizzard, the only thing I’ve wanted to wear is yoga pants and oversized sweaters, and usually they don’t even match.  Who can feel creative about outfits when it feels like 2 degrees outside?  I’ve already started eyeing some spring pieces online, but don’t want to kid myself.  I know we have a lot of winter left in front of us.  Until then you can find me in some kind of version of this look with layers varying accordingly.

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the best of Astoria (and goodbye!)

image1I’ve lived in Astoria for the past six and a half years and loved every minute of it.  Well maybe not every single minute, (parking can be tough) but besides that it has been an amazing home.  I lived with my girlfriends and then my now husband and have made so many wonderful memories here.  I’ve also been so lucky to live near some of the best places to eat, hang out, and play (more or less).  I thought as a fun little goodbye to Astoria I would do a round up of all of my favorite places.  If you live in the area make sure you check these out, you will not regret it.  Thanks for the memories Astoria… onto the next chapter. xo

Best seafood place: Taverna Kyclades.  Amazing, fresh seafood and they give you free dessert (enough said).

Best way to spend a Saturday: At the Astoria/ LIC food & flea market.  There are so many new foods to try and lots of little shops and cute stands.

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Best way to spend a Saturday night: At the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden.  Great place for groups and hanging out outside in the spring/ summer/ fall.

Best inexpensive dinner: Il Bambino. Half price bottles of wine on Mondays and delicious paninis, crostinis, and salads.

Best brunch: Sage General Store.  They have fresh, frothy coffees the size of your head.

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Best sushi: Watawa Sushi.  A close second is Pink Nori.

Best juice place: Ginger Organic.  This place opened just a few months ago, and I’ll miss their fresh juices.

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Best coffee: Best overall coffee/tea spot would have to be Sweet Leaf, but my favorite individual cup will always be the hazelnut iced coffee from Brooklyn Bagel.

Best yoga studio: Yoga Agora.  No membership, $5 classes, and amazing instructors.  It simply can not be beat.

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Best burger: Bareburger.  Lots of healthy, vegetarian options too.

Best Grocery Store: Food Cellar.  Lots and lots of organic produce, right up my alley.

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Best Dessert: Vesta Trattoria & wine bar.  Order the baby Jesus cake and thank me later.

Best Hair Salon: Natura Spa.  I always go to Telmo, he is indisputably the best.

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Best view: Now I may be biased, but we had such an amazing view from the rooftop of our building.  I’ll miss it so much!

sweetest somethins best of astoria 1* All pictures are from my instagram.  Thanks for following along!


Tuesday ten: healthiest on-the-go snacks

healthy snacks

I’m into the last week of my cleanse, and I’ve been getting a lot of questions on instagram about what I’ve been eating and cooking throughout.  Like I said before I’ve been following the cleanse detailed on this blog, and I’ve loved the meal plans for new ideas.  I have a few cleanse friendly recipes coming up for you guys, but in the mean time I thought I would share my favorite on the go snacks for my Tuesday ten.

Since I work out of the home I eat a lot of my meals on the go.  I usually eat breakfast in the car, driving to work, and lunch at work, so 2/3 of my meals and snacks are usually eaten while doing other things.  While I know that’s not always the best it is a reality for many people.  I thought I would share some of my favorite, but also healthiest, snacks that can be picked up and eaten as is (meaning you do nothing to prepare).  I outlined below what makes these snacks good enough for my healthy list.  Please share in the comments if you have any healthy snacks you eat on the run!

  1. Lara bars: I love these for breakfast or a mid-afternoon energy boost.  My favorite flavor is the pecan pie, which is just almonds, pecans, and dates.  That’s why I love these bars so much there are very few ingredients and no added sugar.
  2. Macaroon bites: I love Emmy’s Macaroon Bites for a little sweet treat.  The chocolate cacao is great if you are craving something chocolate.  Plus they’re vegan and gluten free.
  3. Apples + packets of nut butter: This is my go-to snack that I eat almost every weekday.  I love the Justin’s almond butter packets, and they’re perfect for grab and go.  Pair with an apple or a banana and you have a protein filled healthy snack.
  4. Mary’s gone crackers pretzels + mini hummus packets: I was so happy when I discovered the mini hummus packs that come without the pretzels.  I like to pair hummus with the Mary’s gone crackers pretzels which have all natural ingredients and are gluten free.
  5. Snap pea crisps: These taste like a salty, indulgent chip but are actually a lightly salted baked snap pea.  Be careful, they are addicting and I could easily eat the whole bag without realizing it.
  6. Mixed nut pouches + dried apricots (unsweetened): I love the combo of a dried fruit/nut but usually most dried fruits have added sweetener so you have to be careful.  I love apricots because they’re naturally sweet, no need for any added sugar and they pair great with mixed nuts.
  7. Brown rice cakes: I love the Lundberg Farms brown rice cakes because they have just one ingredient, brown rice.  I usually spread these with a nut butter packet, some hummus or a mashed avocado when I’m at home.  When I’m out I’ll just munch on these plain, usually while I’m driving home from work.
  8. Plain greek yogurt + fresh berries: While this would not be friendly with my cleanse (dairy is a no-no), I usually love having greek yogurt with fresh fruit at least once a week.  I never buy any yogurt that comes with fruit or additives, I always just buy plain and add my own fresh or dried fruit and sometimes some nuts.
  9. Kale chips: A delicious and crunchy snack.  You could make your own but I love some store bought brands as well, like Rhythm Superfoods.
  10. Crunchy chickpeas: Again, I’m a sucker for anything crunchy and having these on hand will help you stay away from the potato chips.  You could also make these homemade pretty simply, but if you’re busy I love the brand The Good Bean.

winter wear

DSC_0141DKNY coat, Gap sweater (similar), COH pants, J.Crew boots, Madewell bag, Rayban sunglasses, Ralph Lauren gloves , Aqua earrings

Bundling from head to toe has been a necessity lately.  I ran into a problem when the zipper on my favorite puffy jacket from last year completely broke.  I was on the hunt for a new coat with only one requirement- keeping me warm.  I was lucky enough to find this coat that is not only super warm, but adorable too.  I love the furry hood and it has one of those cinchers (real word?) on the inside to keep me from looking like a giant marshmallow puff.  Winter and I are not friends, but I’m definitely interested in being bff’s with this new jacket.  Other contenders for close friends are mittens, hats, scarves, and boots.

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