Gluten-Free Ginger Pear Bread

I absolutely love a baking challenge. So for this recipe, I noticed we had a ton of Harry and David Christmas season pears sitting around going soft. This got the cogs turning in my head. Plus, I just won a giveaway hosted by Kate and NuNaturals that included a new-to-me flour–organic green banana flour. I also had some leftover “Unpumpkin Pie Spice” from  Raw Spice Bar. If you’re curious, Raw Spice Bar is a spice subscription box that delivers freshly ground spices to your door every month–the mixes have been so much fun to use, plus you can taste the difference when you compare to stale, store-bought spices.

All of the ingredients on hand sounded like a great match so I gave it a shot and was thrilled by the results! A soft, tasty loaf that you would never expect is gluten-free and low in sugar.

image1

Ingredients:

1/4 c pumpkin
3/4 c nunaturals banana flour
2 eggs
2 medium pears, finely chopped
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
1/4 c packed brown sugar blend
Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Combine wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
3) In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated.
4) Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix until batter is smooth.
5) Pour batter into a greased and floured loaf pan.
6) Bake for 28 minutes or until bread feels firm to the touch
7) Let cool for 10 minutes in pan then flip the bread out onto a cooling rack.
8) Enjoy! This would taste delicious with a dollop of almond butter on top!
image2.JPG
Do you like throwing random combos together? How do you decrease waste in your kitchen?

Easy Meal in Minutes: Huevos Rancheros

Huevos rancheros are one of the easiest quick, healthy meal options in my playbook! Eggs are a great source of protein that have less environmental impact than many other animal proteins, plus they are inexpensive. The longest part of the recipe process is waiting for the oven to preheat!

IMG_2832.JPG

I used fresh tomatillos, but feel free to substitute in tomatoes. The tomatillos simply add a nice subtle zesty flavor.

Ingredients:
1 can diced zesty tomatoes
4-5 tomatillos, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
2 eggs

IMG_2833.JPG

 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a cast iron skillet with coconut oil.
  3. Pour can of diced zesty tomatoes into a separate pan on low on the stove.
  4. Add chopped zucchini, bell pepper, and tomatillos to pan and increase to medium heat.
  5. Continue cooking veggie mixture on the stove for 5-7 minutes or until veggies are slightly tender.
  6. Pour tomato-veggie mixture into greased skillet.
  7. Made two slight indents in veggies, and then crack eggs into indents (this keeps eggs in one place so they don’t spread into edges).
  8. Place the skillet in the oven for 15-20min or until eggs do not jiggle when you shake the pan–feel free to take it out a few minutes early if you like runny yolks!
  9. Enjoy!

eggs .png

My dad even got a little crazy and topped his hues rancheros with some jalapeño cheddar popcorn! Do you ever try crazy toppings? What would you put on your huevos rancheros?

IMG_2839.JPG

Find more meatless options in the Meatless Monday Link-Up hosted by Running On Happy!

Screen Shot 2017-01-02 at 8.51.46 AM

Quick Updates, Banana Bread, and a GIVEAWAY! (10/24)

Hi! I am sorry I have been MIA–between classes and work, I’ve been a little distracted from some of my favorite things (like blogging!). If you haven’t seen on my instagram feed, I’m hosting a Detour Bar giveaway:

A photo posted by Hannah (@craving_happy) on

If you want to enter, feel free to head over to my Instagram feed and comment with one thing you love about yourself, or you can comment on this post to enter!

In celebration of the giveaway, I decided to make some banana bread using detour bars! This is a great way to add some chocolate, while also adding a protein punch. This is such a simple recipe and is perfect for busy school-day morning.

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 banana
1/2c applesauce
1.5 cups flour (I recommend a combination of coconut flour, almond flour, and garbanzo bean flour)
1tsp baking powder
1/3 cup almond butter
1 detour bar of choice, chopped into 1in pieces

img_3461

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit .
  2. Combine banana, apple sauce, eggs, and almond better until smooth in a bowl.
  3. Add flour and baking powder to wet ingredients.
  4. Stir until just combined.
  5. Stir in chopped detour bar.
  6. Pour batter into greased, floured medium bread pan.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until top is golden brown and toothpick comes out clean.

img_3464

Homemade BBQ Sauce and Adventures

I always love adventures…taking a wrong turn, adding in a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon, accidentally signing up for an event…usually these “mistakes” become adventures and memories. Although the memories may not always be completely positive, I find that I learn something every time and usually have some amazing friends along for the ride!

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-2-23-06-pm

This is part of why I love cooking; the worst that can happen is one bad dish. Definitely not a horrendous outcome, no matter how horrendous the mistake. These errors also lead to good lessons: 1) always double check if you greased your pan 2) never crack eggs into all of your ingredients (egg shells!) 3) always set the timer for the minimum cook time

Wrong_way_sign

 

 

Here is a recipe for one of my experiments that magically came out well! I wander through tons of websites and blogs so this recipe has definitely been influenced from what I have seen in the past, but it was a lot of guessing and testing.

I hope you use this recipe as a base, but make it your own! Add an extra dash of hot sauce, a bit of your favorite spice–have fun with it 🙂

Ingredients:
6 tbsp apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg’s)
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 packets stevia (I use NuNaturals)
2 cups stewed, roasted tomatoes
1 tsp liquid smoke (this is a MUST, and I highly recommend it for adding a smoky flavor to any dish)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp of your favorite hot sauce

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-2-03-48-pm

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring continuously.
  2. Once it has boiled, turn off the heat and let cool.
  3. Place mixture in the fridge and use it as you would use regular BBQ sauce! Enjoy!

 

IMG_2842.JPG

Why a detox? (+ giveaway!)

In addition to participating in the #SparklingDetox, there is also a chance for you to win free Gerolsteiner water by entering this giveaway: bit.ly/SparklingDetox . I would love for you to join me during this detox from September 12-16! I have been looking for a opportunity reason to cut out caffeine from my diet to see how my body responds, but it has been a hard change to implement. I always joke that caffeine is my one vice in life, which is true, but I am curious how I would cope without it. In the past, I had headaches when attempting to cut back on caffeinated beverages, but I’ve definitely decreased my consumption since then.

When making changes like this, I think it is far more important to think about what you are adding to your life rather than what you are giving up. Sure, I am giving up caffeine, but I am adding a hydrating, nutrient-packed beverage! I have been on-the-go, on the road, and in the air all summer long, which has prompted me to ditch some of my usual routine. I have tried to get some form of physical activity everyday, but I have been far from consistent! With the lack of regularity in my workout schedule, my muscles have been feeling more sore than ever.

Magnesium is crucial for healthy nerve function and muscles, plus there is some evidence that is helps with fatigue and mood. In the past, I have taken magnesium pill supplements, but magnesium has increased bioavailability (i.e. the body can absorb more) when it is consumed in liquid form. On top of the health benefits, drinking mineral water is FAR more enjoyable than taking a huge magnesium pill!

My favorite way to enjoy is pouring a bottle over ice with a squeeze of lemon. I am planning to also add some fresh mint and a dash of stevia to create a faux-jito, which I tested out the other day with great success (see recipe below). How do you drink your mineral water? Do you look at it as simply a beverage, or also as a nutritional supplement of sorts?

IMG_2837

Faux-jito for one:
Combine one sprig of mint, 5-10 drops of stevia, 1-2 tsp lime juice, and 8oz of Gerolsteiner sparkling water in a glass and enjoy!

A Little Lovin’: Life Lessons in Amore

Amore Brand sent me an amazing gift package to sample some of their new (and old) products:

IMG_2807

Look at all those goodies! Pasta, pastes, a water bottle, even a portable charger–a huge thank you to Amore for their generosity.  I am pretty picky when it comes to savory foods and tend to opt for high quality options and strong flavors, so I held these products to a high bar. All of their products are made in Italy with only high quality ingredients and the pastas and pastes are all vegan!

Tomato paste: fresh, delicious, natural. This tomato paste goes ABOVE and BEYOND the tins of tomato paste I usually buy. I didn’t notice before a metallic taste before, but after tasting this tomato paste I don’t think I can go back to the little metal cans! I highly recommend the paste, and a little goes a long way.

I tried out the tomato paste in the recipe below; it’s crazy easy, quick, and a perfect weeknight meal after a long, hectic day.

Tomato Sauce For One Recipe:
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. water (use to thin sauce to desired consistency)

Shrimp Veggie Pasta Recipe:
1 package shirataki noodles (or one serving regular pasta)
6-9 frozen shrimp
1 cup roasted veggies of choice (I used eggplant and broccoli)

1. Place shrimp on the stove over medium heat with a few tablespoons of water or olive oil for a crispier finish. Watch and stir until thoroughly cooked (about 4-7 minutes).
2. Prepare pasta following package directions (directions vary by brand and type of pasta).
3. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.
4. Heat sauce in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until hot.
5. Once noodles are prepared, add sauce, shrimp, and veggies and stir well.
6. Enjoy! (Optional: garnish with basil and feel fancy)

IMG_2821

This recipe for one is making me miss family dinners at home already. I recently moved back to college in Atlanta and will start having more single-serving recipes again! Although being a part from family and loved ones is always hard, making recipes that capture the flavors of home certainly help ease the homesickness!

Do you have any quick, easy pasta recipes? Do you prefer a certain type of pasta? What flavors remind you of home?

Moving Means #Strangebutgood Eats…

I have to give a shoutout to the amazing ladies behind Stuft Mama and Sprint 2 the Table! These women have encouraged me to try new, weird food combos with reckless abandon and truly let the freak flag fly. Life is too short to worry about what other people think–at least when it comes to your own personal decisions and habits.

Anyone who knows me knows that I hate waste. Any kind of waste…which makes it hard when you are moving and still have a ton of half-empty condiment jars and weird leftover ingredients. I recently had to move out of my dorm for summer (YAY!) and was faced with quite a few challenges 😉

Here are some of the best (weirdest) combinations I came up with and let them serve as a testament that you should do what you want, try what you want, and constantly experiment in life.

IMG_0882

Cookie Fails…

Many friends asked for the recipe when I posted the hopeful batter…but this is great evidence that creating new recipes is not always successful, although it is always fun!

IMG_1226.JPG

Sweggs! Aka the beloved sweet eggs..may not be uncommon on instagram, but certainly a #strangbutgood mix

IMG_0940.JPG

This was perfection. Sea salt caramel Enlightened bar dipped in hot espresso made with Leaner Creamer (coconut oil based powdered creamer)

I tend to save things I am excited about for a “special occasion,” which sometimes never comes. This is good for things like retirement, but when it comes to most other things in life it can take away from just living joyfully in the present moment. Anyone who is the same knows that moving gets even harder when you have saved everything (hint: it just becomes more STUFF TO MOVE).

IMG_1114.JPG

A big old salad topped with sauerkraut and mustard galore (finishing off the containers..)

So there you have it, a ton of #strangebutgood eats to prevent waste while moving! In all honesty, who really needs an excuse to eat weird food combos? YOU DO YOU. What’s your favorite “strange” combination?

Chocolate covered strawberries (vegan, dairy-free, nut-free)

It is always the saddest feeling when you bite into the first strawberry of a big box and taste…nothing. No flavor. No sweetness. Nada. Those deceptively vibrant berries lured you in (likely when they’re not in season) and now you’re left with a whole box. PLEASE do not throw them out. There is always a way to make them worthwhile. One of my favorite ways to turn a dull berry into a delicious berry is chocolate.

Now, of course you can melt some dark chocolate and dip away, but that gets messy and requires a microwave. I love to make my own chocolate dip and you only need a few ingredients!

Chocolate dip:

-3 tbsp cocoa powder (Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa Powder will change your life)

-3 packets stevia, or sweetener of choice

-1 tsp coconut oil (I recommend Artisana Organics)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well
  2. Add in 1 tbsp of hot water and stir, repeat and add additional tablespoons of water until the consistency is thick and dip-like. I usually use 3-4 tbsp of water.
  3. Dip your woebegone strawberries in your delicious, rich chocolate dip and enjoy!

A photo posted by Hannah (@craving_happy) on

Pad Thai Salad (Grain-Free, Gluten Free)

So I typically throw salads together on the fly and add a bunch of random spices, but this time I had a plan in mind…PAD THAI! (Or at least my own bizarre version of it.) Plus, it takes about ten minutes to toss together.

IMG_0443

Ingredients:
2 eggs, or 3/4 cup egg whites
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Red pepper to taste
salad greens (4-6 cups)
Roasted veggies of choice (I had brussel sprouts on hand)
mushrooms

1) Grease a small microwaveable bowl with coconut oil and combine eggs  with 1 tsp Bragg’s Liquid aminos and spices
2) Microwave for 1 minute
3) Stir
4) Microwave for 30-45 seconds or until eggs are fully cooked
5) Meanwhile, throw your greens in a big bowl and top with veggies of choice (marinated mushrooms are a great addition)
6) Put your eggs on top, mix, and enjoy!
7) I recommend adding more liquid aminos to taste.
8) Enjoy!

 

Hemp Protein and Ethical Eating

I got the chance to try the new Manitoba Harvest Protein Smoothie line and got a bag of each flavor to try. I love their Hemp Hearts product, which is a great way to get your omega-3s. I have never been a huge hemp protein fan, but with nutritional stats like 15g of plant-based protein and the inclusion of organic spinach, kale and broccoli greens into the mix, it definitely is appealing!

IMG_0167

Flavors: Chocolate, Mixed Berry, Vanilla Chai

Ingredients of Chocolate Hemp Protein Smoothie: HempPro 70 (hemp protein concentrate, natural plant extracts), organic coconut sugar, organic fair trade cocoa powder, organic harvest greens blend (organic spinach, organic kale, organic broccoli)

Does it get any better than that?

IMG_0428

I made a smoothie bowl using half a frozen banana, 30g of Chocolate Protein Smoothie Powder, 5-6 ice cubes, water, and about 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum until it blended smoothly. I topped it off with Kim’s Magic Pop chocolate drizzle bites, coconut chocolate granola, and Kashi GoLean cereal.

Manitoba Harvest is committed to the environment and social justice. From the ingredients, it’s easy to read that their cocoa powder is fair trade and their coconut sugar is organic, but these small details mean a lot. It means that the company is working to create an honest product that is both high in nutrition, while promoting sustainability and equality. Buying products like this shows the power of the consumer–we can choose brands that value our earth and everyone on it. That, to me, is the core tenet of ethical eating. BONUS: It’s tasty.

IMG_0450

If you want to win your own Hemp Protein Smoothie enter in the contest and post pictures on instagram, facebook, or twitter using the #hempproteinsmoothie and tagging Manitoba Harvest. Participants will be entered to win a case of their favorite flavor of Hemp Protein Smoothie.

Or if you want it and you want it now, order with promo code “hempsmoothielaunch16” for 15% off your  order.

Although I was compensated for this post, the opinions are my own and reflect my honest beliefs.