Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

I got the idea for this recipe from an episode on "The Chew" where "Weelicious" blogger prepared her "Green Mac and Cheese".  I love spinach and like the idea of incorporating it into anything possible.  My recipe is a bit different and slightly more simple. 

This is probably about as healthy as macacroni and cheese is going to get.  Despite the fact that I used whole wheat pasta and added spinach, it's still tastes very much like your regular cheesy and delicious Mac and Cheese.  Great way to get your comfort food along with some nutrition!


1lb whole wheat pasta 
1 1/2 cups 2% milk
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup spinach
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Boil salted water and cook whole wheat pasta until al dente.
3. Blend milk and spinach together.
4. In a pot melt the butter and then slowly whisk in the flour over medium heat. Make sure you don't have any flour chunks.
5. Mix in your spinach/milk mixture and bring to a boil.
6. Lower heat and add both cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Mix until cheese has completely melted.
7. Take off of heat and then mix in the pasta. Transfer to a greased baking pan and bake for about 30 minutes or until the cheese starts to bubble and the pasta turns a golden brown. 
8. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. 

Lake Tahoe 2013

Cayson and I recently took a trip with his mom, Candace, to the beautiful Lake Tahoe.  I had been to Tahoe once before for on a New Years trip but it was snowy and stormy so I didn't get to experience much other than my ski cabin.  Cayson's family was originally from Lake Tahoe before they moved to Hawaii and he spent many of his summers working at his brother's burger joint, The Char Pit.  A friend of Candace's was nice enough to let us stay in one of her rental apartments just right across the street from the Casinos in King's Beach!

Our first day out on the boat with Candace and Anne.

Cayson swimming in the freezing cold water... I only went in knee deep and it was literally hard to breath. No thanks. 

We hiked around and found a "Secret Cove".  Accidentally came across some nude sun-bathers, not so pleasant! I guess that's a regular thing in this particular cove. :/

Looking forward to our next trip to Lake Tahoe!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding

I am completely OBSESSED with this chia seed pudding recipe.  I came across a couple of different recipes in magazines and online and thought that it sounded kind of strange.  Pudding made from seeds?? I've been sprinkling chia seeds on my cereal for a couple years now because I know how loaded they are with omega-3 fatty acid, fiber, minerals, and protein.  My kitchen is always stalked with chia seeds so I decided to concoct my own simple (very very simple) recipe based on other ingredients I already had on hand. Here it is...


1 cup almond milk (you can use whatever kind of milk you want!)
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
3 strawberries
1/4 cup blueberries

1. In a bowl, combine almond milk, honey, and vanilla extract. Stir until the honey is dissolved.  
-You do not have to use almond milk! Cows milk or coconut milk would do just fine. I prefer almond milk because it is lower in fat and full of calcium and vitamins E, D, and A. Not to mention I really like the taste.

2. Add the chia seeds to your milk mixture then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Place the bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.  
-I like to make this recipe before I go to sleep.  That way the chia seeds have had plenty of time to soak and create a thick jelly like texture.  

3. Toast your sliced almonds and shredded coconut until just golden brown. Slice up your strawberries. 

4.  Sprinkle toasted almonds, coconut, sliced strawberries, and fresh blueberries on top of your now pudding-like chia milk mixture. That's it! 

This recipe is great because you can change it up with different fruits or nuts.  This flavor combination just happens to be my favorite.

A little info on Chia seeds...

Chia seeds come from the plant Salvia Hispanica, native in Mexico and Guatemala.  Chia seeds were a huge part of the Aztec and Mayan's diets and are thought have been their main source of fuel during conquests.  Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, they are incredibly healthful!