Strawberry Spring Fever Salad

I have a fever.

Whew! Thank goodness it’s the spring kind.

People are posting this week’s weather forecast on facebook like it’s going out of style, so I’m sure you know all about the 72 degree spring weather coming up.

spring fe·ver

Noun: A feeling of restlessness and excitement felt at the beginning of spring.

Yep, I have a bad case of self-diagnosed spring fever.  Flower shoes, strawberry salads, the whole shebang.

This salad is delicious.  Light, sweet, salty, creamy, crunch, and healthy– all tied up with a ribbon champagne vinaigrette.  It will most definitely cure your feverish symptoms. 

And maybe even the snow that’s bound to fall in April.

Strawberry Spring Fever Salad

-Serves two as an entree and three as a side.  This would be wonderful topped with grilled tofu or chicken!

Ingredients:

  • One 10 oz bag of chopped romaine lettuce (or one large head of romaine, chopped)
  • 1/2 pound of strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 an avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 of  a red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinaigrette (I used Trader Joe’s)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well. Enjoy!

Spring in a bowl.

 Take a bite.

Spring fever approved. 

Spring break diet approved.

*  *  *

If you’re bored after your salad, check out this video that I’m featured in on veganism and vegetarianism.  I speak a minutes 1:05-1:55 and 2:56-3:45.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXMlWIucaHM&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Coconut Pancakes for One

My mouth was exploding with happiness tonight.Seriously, people.  Exploding.

I had an awkward amount of coconut milk left and I’m not one to let all that deliciousness go to waste.  I wanted something sweet and coconnuty and man, these delivered. 

 They taste like coconut cake doughnuts with a warm crispy crust. Complete and utter perfection.  This is actually my favorite recipe on the blog to date.  Whole wheat, vegan, and nothing short of fabulosity.

Pretty please go to Trader Joe’s and get coconut oil.  It’ll only set you back six dollars.  Plus, you can use it as a natural moisturizer, eye makeup remover, and high heat cooking oil… pretty much the best six dollars you’ll ever spend.

Topped with toasted coconut, nutmeg and maple syrup, these pancakes are heaven in your mouth.

 I only ask of you three things:

Don’t skip the coconut oil.   Don’t nix the nutmeg.   Don’t change a thing. 

 We don’t want to mess with perfection now, do we?

Coconut Pancakes

-serves one

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour/whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 packet stevia (or 1 tbsp sugar)
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut + more for toasting and garnish
  • dash of sea salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup lite coconut milk (from a can)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • coconut oil for cooking*

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat.  Melt about a tsp of coconut oil in the pan.  *This gives that fabulous crispy coconutty crust, but if you don’t have any coconut oil, then butter or cooking spray will do.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Pour in wet ingredients (including the tsp of melted coconut oil) and stir until just combined.  Spoon batter onto pan, forming three pancakes.   If the batter doesn’t sizzle, then the pan isn’t hot enough!  Cook until pancakes begin to slightly bubble and lift from pan.  Flip and cook about a minute or so longer, but don’t overcook!

After you remove the pancakes, add a small handful of coconut to the pan.  Toast for about a minute, stirring frequently to avoid burning.  Remove from pan once golden brown.Generously sprinkle some nutmeg and coconut onto the plate and then add your pancake stack on top.  Top with more toasted coconut and maple syrup.

The last bite on my plate was really a low point in my life.Who needs pina coladas on the beach in 80 degree weather when you have warm coconut pancakes at your fingertips?

Okay, I wouldn’t mind the beach.

Finals Are Bananas

Finals?  What are finals?

The more appropriate question is, what do we do instead of studying for them?

We grab our black bananas and bake deliciously divine chocolate chip banana bread.  It’s whole wheat and vegan, but shhhh!  You’d never know that there wasn’t a stick of butter and a cup of refined white sugar in there.

We’re following that low carb/low sugar spring break diet, ya know?

Funny joke.

Then the rest of the roommates swarm in and we bust out the Earth Balance and maple syrup.  It’s serious. Warm, dare I say moist banana bread with melty butter dripping with pure maple syrup?

Luckily lentil sloppy joes on a toasty bun with mustard is on the menu as well.  Waaaaay better than standing out in the cold waiting for pizza.

You’re very welcome, Lauren.

I once again pose this important question: what are finals?

If black bananas and black lentils were my final exam… I’d ace it.

Just sayin’.

Coconut Cream Pie Overnight Oats

It’s gray and rainy outside.  Ya know, one of those days when I wear my “waterproof” Target boots and come home with squishy, wet socks.

In about a week, lots of us college kids will say goodbye to finals and rain and hello to hot sun and poolside piña coladas.  

I hate to burst your bubble but that’s still a week away.  So let’s use breakfast as an excuse to prepare for the many coconutty, sugary, who-cares-how-many-calories drinks to come (in a healthy, not so sugary, not-too-many-calories kind of way).

Cheers!

Coconut Cream Pie Overnight Oats 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup lite coconut milk (from a can)
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 ripe banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened coconut
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • dash of stevia (or sugar) to taste
  • walnuts to garnish (optional)

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.  Don’t leave out the chia seeds–not only are they a great source of omega-3′s, fiber and protein, but they also are neccesary to soak up the liquid and give a creamy texture.

Cover with saran wrap/tin foil and place in the fridge overnight (or for a few hours).  In the morning, you will have perfectly delicious, creamy oatmeal that is ready to eat. No cooking required!  Overnight oats are not meant to be eaten warm, but I like to let mine sit at room temperature for a while before eating.  Alternately, you can heat them in the microwave for a minute until warm.

The banana gives this oatmeal wonderful natural sweetness, but feel free to add stevia/sugar if desired.  I was so pleasantly surprised at how authentically coconutty this tasted.  It’s rich, creamy, sweet and indulgent without the caloric price tag.

 “If you like piña coladas,

and getting caught in the rain. 

If you’re not into health food,

and you have half a brain….”

I’m two for four this week.

Pretty sure I’ll have the last two covered by next week.