So, I’m kinda really into salads now.

My recent trip to San Francisco was filled with every type of pastry, carb, and cream available to man, and after I came back home I found myself craving a really good, clean kale salad. So I went back to one of my go-to easy recipes that always hits the spot – Kale Farro Strawberry Fruit Salad with Blue Cheese. YUMMY!

I was inspired to recreate this salad recipe after visiting WeHo Bistro here in L.A., which had a very similar salad that I craved for days after I first tried it. When I say this salad is easy I mean it’s EASY with barely any cooking required. All you have to do is chop up the fruits, veggies, and cook up some farro, which only takes about 10 minutes. 

I like to top this salad with some chunks of blue cheese for extra flavor, but you can leave it out if you’re vegan. If you want to make homemade raspberry dressing to go with this, then good for you! I personally used a store bought version to save on time. 

I love every bite of this salad, and I hope you do, too! Let me know if you decide to try it ūüôā

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StrawberryPancakesRecipe

StrawberryHealthyPancakes

I visited the Oxnard Strawberry Festival over the weekend and walked away with a belly filled with strawberry shortcake and delicious fried festival food. And of course, a nice pint of fresh, organic California-grown strawberries.

Being the wannabe chef I am, I knew right away that I wanted to cook with the strawberries, so I whipped up some Strawberry Greek Yogurt pancakes the next day.

These pancakes are nice and thick and fluffy, just how I like them. The secret to fluffy pancakes is to not overstir the batter. Use a whisk to incorporate everything just until all the ingredients come together, then put your whisk down and walk away. It’s okay if there are a few lumps left in the batter.

These pancakes are the perfect treat to add to your summer breakfast or brunch menu. I hope you get to try them!

Strawberry Greek Yogurt Pancakes
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Ingredients
  1. 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled (plus more butter for greasing)
  2. 2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  4. 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2 cups plain Greek Yogurt
  9. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  10. 1 cup sliced strawberries
Instructions
  1. Melt the 6 Tablespoons of butter first. Microwave or stovetop - either is fine. Set aside to slightly cool. You don't want it piping hot.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract together until combined. Whisk in the melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk by hand gently to combine the ingredients. The batter is thick and a few lumps may remain. Very gently, fold in the strawberries.
  4. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat generously with butter. Once hot, drop about 1/4 cup of batter on the griddle. Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the sides, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Coat griddle/skillet again with butter for each pancake or batch of pancakes.
  5. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Spring Summer Sam http://springsummersam.com/

Blueberry Pancakes. Just typing those two words sends my taste buds into a frenzy. Pancakes are one of my all time favorite foods. They are infinitely better than waffles, and yes I will argue if you believe otherwise.

I love to cook, but my new healthy lifestyle has really put a damper on my cooking binges. No more late-night chocolate chip cookie experiments, or peach cobblers, or banana bread, or any of the other foods that make this world a better place. I’m committed to eating¬†healthier, but last week I just really wanted pancakes. Like, really really. So I searched Pinterest for¬†a¬†healthy pancake recipe that wouldn’t make me feel guilty, and I found it! And I made it! And it was glorious!

And you can find it here!

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Back in high school, I dedicated an entire summer to perfecting pancakes. That was many, many moons ago but I think I learned some valuable tools that summer. First, always butter the pan in between pancakes. Always. If you don’t, then every pancake made after the first one will come out darker¬†and less flavorful. We want our pancakes to be brown, not black. Butter in between your pancakes!

Don’t flip your pancake until you see bubbles start to erupt near the middle. Those bubbles mean that the batter is getting cooked through, and you want an undercooked center. As a general rule, I usually let my pancakes cook for one minute on the first side, and about two minutes on the other side. Keep your stove at a low temperature so that the pancake does not brown too quickly.

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Ah, lovely isn’t it?

These pancakes are just awesome. I love oats, and the oats in this recipe added a nice hearty texture to these pancakes. They turned out very moist and not overly sweet. I’m surprised that there are only two tablespoons of sugar in this entire recipe – I think I made eight pancakes and ate two of them for breakfast, so I felt good knowing¬†I wasn’t getting a sugar overdose. My boyfriend ate three, so I froze the remaining pancakes in a ziplock bag to enjoy for another¬†day. By the way, did you know that you can freeze these pancakes?! All you have to do it toast them and they’re just as good as the day you made them. Try it!

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I would totally make this recipe again and add different mix-ins like strawberries or dark chocolate chips. I still have a bit of blueberries left over, so I may be making these again this weekend. I hope you all give this recipe a try! Let me know how you like it ūüôā

~Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to follow my blog!

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Birchbox, Consciousbox, Merchbox…so many companies these days are getting their hands on the product-to-door market that only started budding in the last couple of years.

Naturebox is my first foray into this service. My coworker roped me into Naturebox when she offered me some of the sweet blueberry almonds that are only available via Naturebox. I really only wanted the almonds, but I decided to take a chance and sign up for a full subscription. For only $10 (thanks to a referral coupon from my coworker) I got five bags of snacks, plus a surprise gift.

Of course, before I signed up and threw my wallet at Naturebox I did some research, and found some not so good reviews. Being me, I went ahead and signed up for the subscription and tried Naturebox for myself.

Oops.

Naturebox cranberry almond bites

Not everything in the box made me gag, but this did. I couldn’t take more than a bite out of the cranberry almond bites. When I added them to my box, I expected a granola cluster of sorts, but this is a puffed rice cereal snack. It has a lingering sesame seed taste, even though that isn’t listed as one of the ingredients. I couldn’t get rid of that sesame taste in my mouth. It has a weird crunchy, crumbly texture that is hard to swallow.

 

I added the Cherry Ganache Granola to my box because it was the only thing that Harlot Beauty liked in her review. I expected a sweet, chocolatey granola that would be good with some cherry flavored¬†Greek yogurt.¬†The granola clusters include¬†whole walnuts and almonds, but I was expecting chunks of whole cherries and chocolate. This snack isn’t terrible, but it doesn’t satisfy my chocolate craving. It is okay, but not wonderful. I like food that is wonderful.

Naturebox Sweet Blueberry AlmondsThis is the product that made me subscribe to Naturebox, and this is still the snack that I liked the most. I like how the almonds are covered in the sweet blueberry powder. It’s sweet but not too sweet. I planned to throw out the rest of my Naturebox snacks, but I will keep this one. Still, it’s not perfect enough¬†though for me to renew my Naturebox subscription.

Naturebox Roasted Sea Salt ChickpeasThis was my surprise gift (thanks Naturebox crew), but I did not like it at all! I like chickpeas (in hummus), but not to snack on. The chickpeas are so dry and crunchy, and taste old. I do not like roasted chickpeas so I may be biased. I will give it to the Naturebox crew, though, for adding the surprise gift. It was a nice touch of customer service.

Naturebox Cherry Berry BonanzaThis was my second favorite snack, at first. I actually ate a good amount of these dried cranberries, cherries, and blueberries. They are nice and sweet and I love fruit medley mixes. I brought this to my job and stored it in my desk for casual munching throughout the day, but I noticed after a couple of half handfulls that my head started to hurt. I’m no Pavlov dog, but after that association I couldn’t bring myself to eat any more. I wondered how¬†a sweet and yummy fruit mix could give me headaches, so I checked the nutrition label so see exactly what I was eating. I could not believe that each serving had 30g of sugar! Yikes! The fruits themselves infused with sugar! The few times that I buy packaged dried fruits (I prefer fresh) I always buy them low-sugar or sugar-free. The stamp on the packing says the product is “Nutritionist Approved”, but how could a nutritionist approve that much added sugar?

Naturebox Sante Fe Corn StixI actually did not pick out the sante fe corn stix, but they were added as my “surprise me!” snack. I couldn’t decide which fifth snack to buy so I wanted to opened my fate to the Naturebox deities. I am not sure how well those deities know me, but I am not a fan of these spicy corn sticks. They are quite savory and taste vaguely of Doritos. I like Doritos better. I couldn’t imagine snacking on these for fun.

After sampling all of my snacks, I had to cancel my Naturebox subscription. These snacks are just not for me. I just didn’t love any of these products enough. Maybe you will like Naturebox, but I advise you get a $10 off referral code so that you can save a little money as you sample.

Have you tried Naturebox? What was your experience?