January 20, 2012

Favorite Friday Afternoons

I have always loved Friday afternoons. All throughout college, Friday afternoons were my favorite time of the week! People are done with class, not much is going on; it was always just a time to relax and recuperate from the past week.

Since starting my graduate career, that has changed a bit; mainly because I hardly ever had class on Friday last semester. But today, with class all morning and work all afternoon, I came home to my favorite time of the week: a perfect Friday afternoon! It really is perfect, because its about 80 degrees, low humidity, and in the middle of January. Those are all positives in my book!
Red Sangria
So, the most perfect Friday afternoon wouldn't be complete without an afternoon cocktail! But as I mentioned yesterday in my pizza post, sangria is a perfect accompaniment. And sangria is a perfect accompaniment to any Friday afternoon, so here are my recipes for red and white wine sangria!

Have a lovely Friday afternoon!

Print this recipe!

Red Wine Sangria

  • 1 bottle light red wine of your choice
  • 1 blood orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 apple, cut into slivers
  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 1.5 oz. triple sec
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 oz. lemon flavored sparkling water (ex: La Croix)

Combine all ingredients, except the sparkling water, together in a pitcher. Allow the flavors to marinate together overnight.

Just before serving, add the sparkling water.


Serves: 2 - 3 people

White Wine Sangria

  • 1 bottle sweet white wine (ex: Riesling, Sauvignon blanc)
  • 1 large white grapefruit, cut into sections without outer skin
  • 1 oz vodka
  • 2 oz triple sec
  • 12 oz. lemon flavored sparkling water (ex: La Croix)

Combine all ingredients, except the sparkling water, together in a pitcher. Allow the flavors to marinate together overnight.

Just before serving, add the sparkling water.


Serves: 2 - 3 people

PS: My favorite grocery store in Dallas, Central Market, was have "Citrus Fest" in which they had TONS of citrus varieties, some of which I had never experienced (ex: white grapefruit). But regular oranges, lemons, and grapefruit can be utilized in place of any of the hard-to-find citrus.

January 19, 2012

Pizza Pizza

One of my favorite foods in the world is pizza! And I'm sure most of you love it too!

But unless it is really yummy authentic pizza, I'll pass on the delivery stuff any day (so greasy and makes you feel bloated... not fun).  When I have a major pizza craving, I love to make my own pizza version!

Making your own pizza is very economical and and save you TONS of fat and calories than the typical delivery pizza. AND it will be that much more delicious! So when my friends from school came over last weekend for a little study session and Golden Globes watching, the make-your-own-pizza dinner was on the agenda...and it did not disappoint one bit!

Pizza parties are literally one of the easiest and most affordable dinner parties out there! Add some sangria and you know you're going to have a good night! So, to help out those future party planners, here is my typically grocery list of items to get for a pizza making party!

Pizza Party Inventory

  • Whole wheat pizza dough - most grocery stores now have fresh or frozen raw pizza dough that you can take home and bake yourself! And whole wheat pizza dough is becoming more prevalent and easier to find! It's also good for avoiding any preservatives that might be in pre-baked pizza crust.
  • Tomato Sauce or Pesto - when doing my grocery shopping, I noticed that the cheapest tomato sauce option was an organic one! Score!
  • Mozzarella Cheese - get the 2% milk/ low fat cheese! Same great taste, but less saturated fat and calories.
  • Onions - delicious when caramelized in a pan with a little olive oil
  • Garlic - I have decided is it impossible to make pizza without adding a little garlic somewhere!
  • Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables - ok, I DO NOT consider pizza a vegetable, but you can put lots of vegetables on your pizza for added flavor and nutrition! My favorites: zucchini, squash, mushrooms, red bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, etc. 
  • Protein Source - Get anything you like! I love chicken, so getting a rotisserie chicken is a quick and easy way to get some protein in. 
  • Side Salad - easy way to get more greens in! A nice side salad goes perfectly with a pizza meal.
And if you're a college/ graduate student like me, ask your friends to bring over any random ingredients they might have to put on the pizza as well! That saves time, money, and food waste!
Pre-oven pizza
Once you've sauced and topped it, just put pizza's in a 450 degree oven for about 20 - 25 minutes, and you have fresh, homemade, all natural pizza!

Rachel & Jordan's Pizza
Mine & Staci's Pizza
The best part is stretching out your pizza dough and getting creative with your toppings! And making your own pizza is much more wholesome and delicious and won't leave you feeling bloated. (Translation: you can eat more for way less kcals).

For your next party... make it a pizza party! You won't be disappointed!

January 17, 2012

Try It Tuesday!

Happy Tuesday!

Today I wanted to do something a little different. Rather than my typical, talk-about-food-and-give-a-recipe, I an going to do a product review! There are soooo many different products out on the market today, and some of them may seem like they are wholesome and nutritious choices, but in reality, the marketing gets tricky! (I've been a culprit of tricky marketing countless times.)

But the product I want to talk about today are Kind Bars! Many of my friends and various other blogs that I read have highlighted these "granola-type" bars, but until a week ago, I had never tried one.

But one taste is all you need, because after that and I knew I might have to be picking up a few more flavors to try.

In my first Kind Bar Experience, I tried the dark chocolate cherry cashew + antioxidants
Sorry about the glare
Oh my goodness, was it delicious! So many cashews wrapped up in a not-too-sweet dark chocolate with just the right about of cherry-chewiness (and I'm not the biggest fan of cherries). I ate my bar as a mid-morning snack, which held me over quite nicely until lunch. Many times, I get a little worried about eating a snack around 10 am because I'm afraid I will be too full for lunch. Not the case at all! It held over my hunger and I was still hungry for lunch at 12:30!

An overview of the nutritional facts of that bar are:

Kcal: 180
Total Fat: 9 g
Saturated Fat: 2.5 g
Carbohydrate Total: 22 g
Fiber: 3 g
Protein: 4 g

It's very low in saturated fat, and the other source of fats are healthy fats from the cashews. The best thing about these bars are the ingredient label... no long, hard to pronounce chemical words here! Everything in the bars are all natural and non-GMO. So Kind bars really are "kind" to your body!

Another great thing about this company is their philosophy. On their website, they proclaim:

"KIND was founded on the principle of holistic kindness, and we pride ourselves on creating new paths that avoid false compromises. Instead of "Or" we say "And". We choose healthy and tasty, convenient and wholesome, economically sustainable and socially impactful."

Not only do they have a wonderful philosophy, their products are delicious and a perfect choice to satisfy your mid-meal cravings.

If you get the chance, go try a Kind Bar!

For more information on this product, visit their website HERE!

January 16, 2012

Monday Funday!

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

On my day off from school, I started my day with a nice early morning workout! I go to an awesome bootcamp here in Dallas, which has many different times to get your daily workout in. So, after I got my muscles moving for about 30 minutes, I was starving!!

I rushed back to my apartment and made one of my favorite pre and post workout meals, a recovery smoothie! I call it a "recovery" smoothie, because the protein powder + fruit gives it a nice balance of carbohydrates and protein, both of which are important for muscle repair and to replenish your energy stores.
Consuming a cold smoothie in January, might not be the best idea, considering I was freezing after I drank it, but a nice light and refreshing smoothie is perfect post-exercise! My smoothie's main flavors are bananas and blueberries, but you can customize it to your liking!

Goal for the day: go get a nice, sweaty workout in and try my smoothie!

Print this recipe!

Recovery Smoothie

To start, put about 1/2 cup of low fat milk (my favorite: unsweetened almond milk) in your blender.
Next, add your low fat yogurt: vanilla or plain; greek or regular
Drop your frozen banana in! You just need one!
Add your blueberries too! About 1/2 cup
I like to add about 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds to my smoothie also, for a nice dose of omega 3's!
Don't forget one of the most important part: the protein powder! Use whatever brand is your favorite!
And just blend it up for a few minutes! You will probably need to add some more milk (up to another 1/2 cup) because it get pretty thick. Pour into your favorite glass and consume!
Pretty Purple Color!
And yes, I put my smoothie in a wine glass... I wanted to be fancy!