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College Girl on a Budget: Summer Style :)

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Todays Purchases:

  • Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese (click to see my latest salad creation this was used in!)
  • Organic Green Tea Lemonade
  • Raw Pecan Halves
  • A mango
  • A Pear
  • Mochi (all natural chocolate ice cream)
  • Organic puppy chews for my Yorkie Locket!
  • A beautiful batch of yellow daisies
  • Aria: protein powder for women (click to see my new review)
  • Organic baby spinach
  • Can of diced and fire roasted tomatoes

Grand Total = $43.02

Being a college girl on summer vacation, I purchased some items that I wouldn’t usually go for. Since I’m out of college for the summer, I have extra time on my hands. What better way to spend it then in the kitchen discovering new meals I can eat when I go back to college in the fall!

There are going to be some kick-butt salads, smoothies and soups that come out of this trip. Come back and see what my creative mind comes up with this weekend 🙂

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Going Greek in Ralphs- Three colored grapes in one!

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Shopping around in my neighborhood store, I came across this AWESOME medially of grapes and bought 2 boxes!!

Now all I need is a hot guy in a Toga with a huge leaf fan to feed them to me while sitting in a royal throne.
Hey, a girl can dream right?

I wonder how my boyfriend Bryan would feel about wearing a toga…

I can’t wait to use these flavors in all kinds of recipes, salads and smoothies this week 🙂

Who wouldn’t like 3 colors of grapes in one? Pure genius.

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Crispy Fresh Sweet Potato Burgers! A sweet spin on a vegetarian patty

Veg Sweet Potato Burgers

Now that my pallet is expanding, I’m tasting/combining ALL kinds of new ingredients! After I fell head-over-heels in love with sweet potatoes, the possibilities that I can make with them seem to be endless.

This is by far my favorite recipe that I’ve created so far, 100% Vegetarian of course 🙂

Since sweet potatoes are PACKED with iron and tons of vitamins, this is a deliciously healthy meal too! I don’t know about you, but guilt-free burgers sound like heaven to me.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can of white beans (I used cannellini beans)
  • 1/2 sweet potato (baked, peeled and mashed) *it comes out to about 1 cup
  • 1 Tbsp real maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp Tahini
  • 1/2 tsp of Cajun seasoning
  • 1/8 cup of wheat flour  (regular flour can be used as well, however wheat flour is a bit healthier)
  • Panko Crumbs
  • Whole Wheat Buns

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Easy Steps:

  1. Bake (or boil) your potatoes. Then peel them and mash them up into a dough-like consistency.
  2. Drain your cannellini beans, add them to your bowl of sweet potatoes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, excluding the Panko crumbs.
  4. Form your mixture into patty shapes, and coat in Panko Crumbs.
  5. Cook your patties in a light coat of olive oil until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Serve between your whole wheat buns and add your toppings and dressings of choice!

I used Avocado slices, tomatoes and spinach with home made zesty thousand island dressing.

If you double the recipe, you can pre-prepare enough for the whole week. You know how I love pre-preparing food since I’m so busy. Try it out, it’s an excellent time and money saver!

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Apple Pecan Summer-Berry Salad!

This salad is perfect for any summer gathering, party or lunch!

The combination of fruit, nuts and dark leafy greens makes this salad not only delicious, but high up on a healthy scale.

It also only took me 5 minutes to put it together. Easy and delicious, my favorite combination 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • Apple Pecan Dressing
  • Green Apple Slices
  • Strawberries
  • Cucumbers
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Dark Leafy Spring Lettuce
  • Spinach Leaves

I found that this salad is better shaken. When you just pour the dressing over the lettuce, it tends to clump up on various ingredients and doesn’t reach to others. Trust me, this incredible dressing is so tasty, you’ll want it to reach every piece!

Make sure not to over-dress your salad. The delicate sweetness of the Apple Pecan dressing is delicious, but it’s easy to over do it. Start small, and add as needed.

Enjoy!

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American Honey ♫

I was SO head-over-heels excited to find a shelf of all-natural honey flavors on the shelf above the delicious salad dressings!

Not to mention, the song “American Honey” played on our Road Trip Playlist on the way home from our BFF Road Trip. Gosh I love country music so much ❤

All-natural honey is SO much better for you because there’s nothing added to it like the honey you’ll find at the grocery stores. No added sugars, no artificial preservatives, and no added coloring. In other words, all the flavors you taste, and the colors you see in the bottle come from the actual fruit.

All-natural Honey> Store bought honey.

If you’re ever visiting a small town (as I am today with my best friend Allie and my puppy Locket) be sure to stock up on all natural foods. Small towns commonly make their own foods, and they’re much better for your body.

A good rule to remember:

Read the ingredients- if there are more then 5 ingredients, don’t buy it.

American Honey

After my many minutes of sifting through all the flavors of natural honeys, jams and dressings from my last post; Allie, Locket and I malingered into the hidden bottom half of the store. It felt like we stumbled into Wonderland! White warm lights, tea cups, vintage mirrors and red plant-bicycles galore!

If that was a real red bike, I totally would have bought it and rode around the little town of julian with Locket in my basket all day.

If you’re ever in Cali, I definitely recommend a little adventure with your best friend into the hills of Julian California 🙂

Antiquing

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Artichoke Adventures

Did you know that Artichokes are one of the WORLD’S most healthiest foods? 

Artichoke Before:After

YES! But Why?

  • REALLY high in anti-oxidants
  • Cancer fighting properties
  • Really good for the liver *Also known for as a hangover treatment for you drinkers out there!*
  • Reduces cholesterol
  • Really high in Fiber (which helps with digestion)

If you had asked me a year ago to eat this weird flowery looking cactus shaped vegetable… I would have looked at you like you were crazy.

Now that my taste buds are developing, I tried them for the first time about a year ago and I AM IN LOVE WITH THEM!

If you’ve never tried an artichoke before, I highly recommend it!

MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS BEFORE YOU TRY AND EAT ONE! They’re complicated to eat, but totally worth the extra effort.

How to eat an artichoke:

After you’ve steamed or boiled it for 25-35 minutes begin to eat.

  1. Pull off outer petals, one at a time
  2. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce. Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.
  3. With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.
  4. I dip mine in a home made garlic sauce that I make myself with FRESH garlic. This not only adds to the flavors of the artichoke, it adds another entire health benefit from the fresh garlic!

Get out of your comfort zone, it’s no fun in there! 

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Apple Pecan Dressing!

My Best Friend Allie, my puppy Locket and I decided to take a road trip up to Julian today!

If you’ve never been to Cali, Julian is a little tiny adorable town up in the mountains with the CUTEST little shops and restaurants. Upon our adventuring around the town, I almost peed my pants with excitement when we found an all natural section in their town store!

All natural dressings, tons of all natural flavors of home-made honey and jams jams jams galore!  I spent a good 10 minutes with my legs crossed, on the hard wood floor of that 50 year old market, looking through all the various flavors of dressing. From Blackberry Walnut, to Apple Pecan, to Poppyseed- I could have spent tons of money just on salad dressing. Unfortunately I like to keep my money right where I can see it (hanging in my closet), so I had to choose just one.

As you can see, I chose Apple Pecan dressing. I’m so glad I did because I can’t WAIT to get home and create a delicious salad to go along with it.

Apple Pecan Dressing Dressing

 

Trust me, you can absolutely look forward to TONS of Apple Pecan recipes coming your way soon!