Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Mantra: Try Something New

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.

Monday Mantra: I will try something new each week

I am a creature of habit. Once I get into one there is small hope in the world that I'm ever going to get out of it. This is good and bad. Good- I floss every night like a boss. Bad- I take the same route home every day, so if a serial killer wanted to get me, well, they could. Side Note: If you are a serial killer, please ignore that prior comment. My dog needs me.

A month or so ago I decided I needed to get out of my recipe comfort zone and try some new things. Weekly. And at least two new recipes, at that. Now, I know I've left you in the dark with recipes lately, but I assure you, I've been trying out...oh...only about a kajillion of them since this plan was created. 

Therefore, without further adieu, I give you a fraction of what I've been cooking up in the kitchen. Most have been altered to remove white/brown sugar or anything else I just don't like. Basically.

This first one was a delicious disaster, if you ask me. But if you ask my boyfriend, well, then it was a complete failure because I needed 4 bowls, 2.5 mixing utensils, and a microwave, which I don't own. That little bit of drama aside, it was super yummy, and for those of us that can never eat anything fun because it's all ridden with the evil GLUTEN, this will make you happy.

Popcorn Indiana- Can be found
at Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc.
Peanut Butter Kettle Corn
Original Recipe Taken from Vital Juice

I have shifted this slightly to make it easier for those of us that do not own microwaves and those other ones of us who don't want to break their teeth on corn kernels, Ryan. 

2 Cups of pre-popped, sea salt popcorn from Popcorn Indiana
1 TBSP of Maple Syrup (The Vermont kind IS the best, I assure you)
1 TBSP either Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Cashew Butter, etc.

Heat the syrup and the peanut butter in a microwave, if you own one, or if you're like me and don't, heat it in a small pot on the stove. Make sure you melt it good- This is important! Put the popcorn in a large bowl and pour the syrup/nut butter combination over it, mixing it all together well. You can drizzle a little extra syrup on top, if you like it sweeter. 

Also, I recently discovered Peanut and Coconut Butter, all in one, at Fresh & Easy. Seriously good. And it tastes really, really good on a sliced banana. Word to the wise- it's kind of addicting. Be careful.

Trail Mix Cookies
Original Recipe taken from Once Again Nut Butter

1 cup Organic Sunflower Seed Butter 
1 Cup sweetened coconut flakes
3/4's Cup semi-sweet gluten free chocolate chips
1/2 cup agave, honey, or maple syrup (I used agave)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 large egg
1/2 TSP Vanilla
1/2 TSP baking Soda
1/4 TSP sea salt

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. 
2. Place all the ingredients in a mixer and blend well until all ingredients are incorporated.
3. Drop generous tablespoons of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet. 
4. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are set but still soft. 
5. Remove and let cook.
6. Share with your friends, if you're nice like that. 

Variation: Add in 1/4 cup of walnuts or pecans to give it a little more crunch. You can also decrease the chocolate chips and add in more dates, to give it extra sweetness minus the extra chocolate. But if you love chocolate, ignore what I just said as that would be blasphemous. 

These cookies are one of my new favorite things. They are SOFT. Super soft, a week later even. Pull apart, melt in your mouth, awesomeness!

It doesn't just look pretty, it tastes pretty, too.
Corn and Bell Pepper Salad
Original Recipe taken from Just a Pinch Recipe Club

2 Cups Diced Red Bell Peppers 
2 1/2 cups Fresh Corn Kernels ( approx: 5 medium ears of corn)
1 Small Red Onion, diced
About 3 lettuce leaved to make the bowl pretty
Salt, pepper, and basil to sprinkle on top

1. In a large bowl, combine corn, peppers, and onion. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Stir in the dressing. 
2. Arrange lettuce leaves in cup shape inside bowl and fill with the salad. 
3. Sprinkle with chopped basil.

Side note: The dressing really makes the recipe. I mean it really, really makes the recipe. You really can't go wrong with it, as it's sugar and gluten free- a good combination. This can also be found at Sprouts, Whole Foods, etc. 

There you have it, my try-something-new experiments. Wait until you see what's next...

What will you try out that's new?

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