Tag Archives: delicious food

Efrain’s Magical Mexican Food (Fit’s Restaurant Review)

 I think we may have found one of the best Mexican spots in Boulder. Yes, I’m excited too. It’s a little out of the way, but it’s a scenic drive through the Wild West (it seems like). You pass these old rusted buildings, lots of old mining spots, and such. Anyhow, we get there one night, and it’s packed. And it’s a Wednesday! Obviously, this place was popular. And it had good reason to be. 

The spot is called Efrain’s II as in #2. Yes, weird name, but there are actually 3 of these wonderful restaurants, one in Layfayette and Longmont as well. They obviously saw the good fortune in expanding, and boy are we glad they did! We get there around 7:30-8pm and wait for a table for around 20-30 minutes. I had a margarita while we waited and we watched some baseball. I was surprised how busy it was because it was a Wednesday. Come on, people! But it was a good sign. Chris had gone there with his friend a few weeks earlier and had wanted to take me because he knows my fervent love of good Mexican food (helloooo, I grew up in SoCal).

Great margarita!

Great margarita!

Mr. Muscles over here

Mr. Muscles over here

Chris' meal from a few weeks earlier

Chris’ meal from a few weeks earlier

Once finally seated, they were quick to serve us with some chips and salsa. The bad thing about this is that there were endless refills. So yes, I obviously filled up on chips and could barely eat my meal. No surprises here, folks! As I sipped away on my margarita, Chris got a Mexican Coke (he loooooooves them). He ordered the Steak San Lorenzo (a sizable meal that even he couldn’t finish) and I ordered the fajitas. Vegetarian, of course.

Mexican coke

Mexican coke

I couldn’t believe how big my portion was. For my fajita platter, I received three tortillas, a huge plate of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, beans, rice, guac, etc. and a huge pot of fajita-styled vegetables. I couldn’t believe it. Everything was cooked well with lots of flavor. Chris thoroughly enjoyed his steak and we left a happy couple. The atmosphere is kinda hectic, but once you get seated, you’re in your own happy bean-and-cheese world. I can’t wait to go there again and again. Good Mexican food with a good price? Don’t mind if I do. Load up on Mexican food to stay hungry and fit!

Chris' steak smothered in veggies

Chris’ steak smothered in veggies

My ENTIRE MEAL

My ENTIRE MEAL

Close-up because it's so pretty

Close-up because it’s so pretty

Hi

Hi

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria kneading away

Nymeria kneading away

Birdsall’s: The Best Ice Cream in the West

I find it  pretty funny that I’m writing this post after discussing clean eating, but who cares when you’re talking about BIRDSALL’S! We’re talking homemade, home-churned, quality ice cream from the mid-west. Yes, I’m making a big statement by saying an ice cream joint in Mason City, Iowa has the best ice cream in the West, but there it is. Many of you will never try this place because who plans a trip to Mason City? Well, we do as that’s where my dad is from and where my grandparents and other relatives live. It’s our family reunion spot and we hit Birdsall’s at least twice every day we’re there (not kidding).

Chris should be sponsored by Birdsall's because he's always the one demanding we go again and again...don't mind if I do!

Chris should be sponsored by Birdsall’s because he’s always the one demanding we go again and again…don’t mind if I do!

As you can see in the sign, Birdsall’s has been around for a long time. My brother and I (who you will see below) grew up in Mason City, Iowa every year as our parents would ship us off to our grandparents for the summer. Birdsall’s has always and will always be a highlight of our days there. What do you do in Iowa? People think it boring, but I know it’s tons of fun: movies, games, swimming, ping pong (lots of ping pong), delicious homemade food, and...ICE CREAM! Once Chris became a part of this reunion, he made Birdsall’s a priority and nobody in the family argued against him. Birdsall’s gets tons of business when we come into town. Chris even got a $13 turtle (basically a hot fudge sundae)–a quart-sized ice cream. It was as big as my brother’s head (and he has a big head!).

QUART-SIZED TURTLE. He ate the whole thing. Wow

QUART-SIZED TURTLE as big as my brother’s head. He ate the whole thing. Wow

Ping pong all day err day

Ping pong all day err day

Now you may think it’s expensive based on the $13 I say, but remember that’s an entire quart. Their ice cream is wonderfully-priced (perks of Iowa) and it does not match the quality of the ice cream (they should really charge more). If we were there a month or so later, we would be served with delicious, home-made, fresh peach ice cream. With real peaches in it fresh from that season. You know it’s quality when they have seasonal flavors.

Dad action shot

Dad action shot

My last name is Powell and we all say “it’s the Powell gene” when we over-eat ice cream…every night. Sorry, can’t help it, it’s in my genetics. And although I did frequent Birdsall’s while during contest, I pretty much stuck to my macros, but still didn’t do great things for me unless you count…HAPPINESS. Some of our favorites from Birdsall’s include the Frosty Malt–basically a Wendy’s Frosty but real. Like with real ice cream and real malt. It’s so refreshing and usually my go-to.

Frosty Malt

Frosty Malt

Mum chowing down

Mum chowing down

Other great flavors include peach (duh), chippermint, pecan, and raspberry chocolate truffle. I’m drooling as I write this. I’d have to say the all-time favorite with the most overall votes from the group would have to be the turtle: vanilla ice cream with hot fudge, caramel, and nuts. Now this may sound like a typical ice cream sundae–but it’s not. We have never been able to replicate this or find this anywhere else. People may offer it or they might even custom-order for us, but nowhere can you find this amazing quality-filled turtle where the hot fudge doesn’t harden. Every other place, even beloved Glacier, hardens. It’s amazing. And the turtle was what Chris ate quart-sized.

Turtle

Turtle

Don't mind if I do!

Don’t mind if I do!

If you’re travelling cross-country or even across the mid-west, do yourself a favor and stop at Birdsall’s in Mason City, Iowa. It’s hard to find ice cream that high-quality and the turtles and peach ice cream cannot be beat. Sorry if you’re on a strict diet right now (like I am), but hey if it hits your macros, go grab some ice cream! I cannot recommend this place enough and the joy it brings. There’s something for everyone. Birdsall’s is perfect for staying hungry and fit! 

Black and White Milkshake

Black and White Milkshake

a version of a Blizzard

a version of a Blizzard

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A Healthy Take on Risotto: Mushrooms and Onions Please!

As you know, I’m in an extreme clean-eating phase right now, prepping for contest. Thus, I can’t always cook or bake what I want. I’m okay with it, I’m staying strong and working hard—and I actually enjoy the food, even though it may be bland to some. Anyhow, I found a delicious recipe that fit my macros with some to spare—without skimping on flavor. I used brown rice instead of risotto or white rice. Chris had about three servings of this—he loved it and made me promise I would cook it again. Did I mention this is vegan?

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The recipe I found here, was kind of intimidating. It was a lot of steps and different instructions for seemingly the same ingredients. However, I gave myself a good hour and next time I make it, it will take half the time. When I do something once, I learn quickly and usually adept the next time around. I learn by doing, just how I am. This recipe is extremely altered that I don’t even want to base it on that link, but that’s what inspired me. I can’t say I’m a genius, because I don’t come up with ways to make it better, I am just making do with ingredients I have (or don’t have). Alright, let’s get started.

  • Prep Time: 25-45 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 35 minutes
  • Serves: 4 normal people (for us—fed me and Chris…3 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1.5- 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 package brown mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (use fresh if you can)
  • as much garlic as you want (I used elephant garlic, so…A TON)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  • Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F
  • Cut your onion in half. Put one half to the side and leave one half on cutting board.
  • Slice up your mushrooms and clean them. Put them into a hot-water-proof bowl and pour the boiling water on top.
Steeping mushrooms

Steeping mushrooms

  • Turn to the half of the onion on your cutting board and dice it up into little pieces. Mince or cut your garlic here too. What better combination than this?
Chop chop chop

Chop chop chop

  • Get a deep pot ready—one that can go into an oven. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in the pot on medium heat. Put the diced onions and garlic in. Cook for 8 minutes or until nice and soft. ENJOY THAT SMELL.
Best smell ever

Best smell ever

  • Drain the steeping mushrooms but save the liquid!
  • Push the onions in the pot to the side, turn on medium-high heat, and put the mushrooms in. Do not stir. Let them cook for 5 minutes and then turn them over, doing the same no-stirring and let cook on this side for 5 minutes. If a crust forms, that’s totally okay—kinda what you want.
  • Add in the rosemary, stirring so it gets in the mushrooms and onions.

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  • Add in the brown rice and let cook for 4 minutes

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  • Turn the heat to high and add the white wine, vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, and steeped mushroom liquid

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Mushroom liquid

  • Mix around and get anything sticking to the pot up and off
  • Mix in salt and pepper to taste

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  • Bring to a boil, put on a lid, and then put into the oven for 35 minutes.
  • While the wonderful mixture is cooking, coat a pan with oil and start caramelizing the other half of the onion. Cut that onion in moon-slices and once oil is heated, put them in, and salt it. Do a low heat until the mixture is ready. Yum!
Onions caramelizing

Onions caramelizing

  • Take the risotto mixture out and let sit for a few minutes. Now, see, I get kind of impulsive when I cook and don’t always take everything into consideration when I convert a recipe for my own needs. Sure, I cut the onions from 4 to 1, but did I cut down the vegetable broth? Of course not. So, I’m sure the liquid was supposed to soak into the rice and just have solids left. However, ours had plenty of the liquid left—and we liked it that way (we used the delicious stuff to cook stuff the next day)
  • So, do it our way, use a spoon or some kind of utensil to scoop out the rice, onion, and mushroom mix out of the “soup.” Plate it and put the caramelized onions on top.

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Came out absolutely wonderfully

Came out absolutely wonderfully

Don't forget to have some greens on the side!

Don’t forget to have some greens on the side!

It looks like a lot of steps, but many of these steps take about 10 seconds. Please don’t be intimidated by this because it really is SO delicious. And easy once you get the handle of it. So it’s not exactly risotto because I use brown rice. However, this makes it healthier—a complex carbohydrate with plenty of fiber to keep you full and slowly digest and absorb into the blood stream. Let me know if you have any comments or questions. Use this recipe to stay hungry and fit!

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2-Ingredient Healthy Energy Rounds

Some of you may know that we are travelling to Iowa tonight (yes, we’re driving over night, 7pm-9am probably) for a 4th of July family reunion. Some may run screaming at the words, “family reunion,” but I always look forward to the chaos of it all…and the delicious food of course. I love family! And many of you know that I’m currently prepping for contest so I’m doing very clean eating. My meals mostly contain tuna, other fish, vegetables like spinach and peppers, almonds, oatmeal and brown rice. Sounds boring, but I’m alright with it (especially with hot sauce). OKAY GET TO THE POINT–I need healthy, clean food for the road trip there for my attempt to stay awake. Luckily I stumbled upon this blog for the idea.

Of course, we’re bringing fruit and fiber cereal to snack on, but I wanted to bake a little something so here we are. Basically, 2-ingredient rounds full of energy and electrolytes! I can’t even tell you how easy this was to make. Perfect and delicious for snacks on the go.

Simple and delicious

Simple and delicious

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Baking Time: 12-15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cup oats
  • 2 bananas (mashed)
  • almonds (optional)
  • cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  • You’re probably saying, “That’s IT?” to the above.  Yep.  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • To start off, mash up your bananas really well, get it nice and smooth.
mash mash mash

mash mash mash

  • I had some almonds I wanted to use, so I decided to add it into the mix. Again, you don’t have to do anything more than oatmeal and bananers. If you want to use almonds, cut or grind them up.
Pathetic amount of almonds (I HATE cutting them)

Pathetic amount of almonds (I HATE cutting them)

  • Now you want to mix it all together in a big bowl. Start with a base of oats and almonds and then add the mashed bananas in and stir. 
Mixed up!

Mixed up!

  • Make sure you mix it all up really well. I added cinnamon to it because I LOVE cinnamon and put it in everything. Now line up a baking sheet with wax paper or you can use a cooking spray/oil. Plop those rounds on there. Should make about 12.
Ready to bake

Ready to bake

  • Bake for about 12-15 minutes (mine took 13). Let cool and then EAT.
Ready to be EATEN

Ready to be EATEN

They are so easy and delicious, it’s the perfect energy snack for on-the-go. And it is HEALTHY. No crap in it! And I’d imagine they’d be lovely with milk. Again, this takes no time at all, I did it while packing to show that it’s easy. Enjoy this quick, delicious, nutritious recipe to stay hungry and fit!

photo (2)

Simple and delicious

Simple and delicious

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Sajah sleeps for EVERY kitty pic...sigh

Sajah sleeps for EVERY kitty pic…sigh

Hungry Eats… SUGARFISH (Los Angeles, CA)

I love sushi! My favorite food is probably a toss up between sushi and ramen. It’s hard to say depending on how I feel, one being hot and one being not so much. If you’re going to find warm sushi anywhere in Los Angeles, it would be Sugarfish. I talk about the movie Jiro Dreams of Sushi all the time. It’s one of my favorite films of all time and it highlights the way that traditional sushi is made. The rice should be fresh and warm, the fish is fresh and cool, and the combination is not tainted by the addition of soy sauce, ginger, and wasabi. Any of those are applied only by the chef so that they compliment the fish perfectly. Sugarfish follows these standards and, although the have those condiments on the table, they recommend not using them. So let’s back track and start from when we entered.

Editor’s Note: WARNING: DROOL ALERT AHEAD FOR ENTIRE POST

photo 3 (6)

Fit’s family and I, along with Fit’s brother’s girlfriend (confusing right?) stopped by Sugarfish in downtown Los Angeles at 11:00 a.m. right when it opened on a Sunday (I think). Kai had recommended it and knowing that we are in Boulder where good fish is hard to come by, he decided to treat us to a nice meal. Not nice–amazing is more like it. Their quality control in their recommended dishes is second to none. The six of us were seated immediately and service was very good throughout the meal. It was quite empty but they took dirty dishes immediately and all of our dishes, or nearly all, were delivered warm. One hand roll had soggy seaweed but the rest were crisp and well toasted.

Sophie, Fit's brother, and Fit's mum

Sophie, Fit’s brother, and Fit’s mum

photo 1 (13)

Hand roll

Hand roll

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Nearly all of us got the recommended “Trust Us” with one person ordering a la carte, one getting the Trust Me Lite and me getting the super trust me (extra… for hungry, as always). The meal is not fresh in my head but nearly everything was great. The tuna sashimi salad was one of the highlights. Its dressing was spectacular and I must have licked the plate clean. The edamame was normal and the rice was always warm. The nigiri was all high quality with the exception of the unagi, which was just slightly off for me. Not quite sauced or toasted properly, but still tasty. It just didn’t match up with everything else. The seaweed on the handrolls were almost all toasted and I even enjoyed the blue crab handroll, which is typically something I would not order. Fit said it was the best hand rolls she had ever had. We drank water and it was refreshing and helped keep my mouth cool and fresh.

Tuna sashimi salad

Tuna sashimi salad

Edemame

Edemame

Unagi

Unagi

photo 3 (7)

All in all, I would say that Sugarfish is a very high-quality restaurant that utilizes the Nozawa style of creating simple but elegant sushi. If you are interested in complex rolls then you should venture elsewhere. If you are looking to get full on a budget, this is not the place either. The atmosphere is unfortunately very industrial and cold, despite efforts to warm it up. The concrete ceiling is hard to cover so I would advise couples that romantic dates might not be the best here, but they can still be great due to the food. It probably looks nicer at night so that might be a good time for a date. If you find yourself here I would almost certainly tell you to only get either the Trust Me, Trust Me Lite, or the Nozawa depending on how hungry you are. I did the math and the amount of food you get on the Trust Me for nearly 25 dollars would be over 35 dollars if ordered a la carte. Not only is it their best deal but it also highlights the dishes they do best. That is what I got out of our visit and I hope it helps you on yours.

photo 1 (11)

photo 1 (12)

So mouthwatering I can't even handle it. One of the best dishes -Alana

So mouthwatering I can’t even handle it. One of the best dishes -Alana

photo 2 (12)

Perfect

Perfect

The obesity rate in Japan is over 30% lower than the United States so eating sushi is certainly one way of staying hungry and fit!

Editor’s Note: I made sure to keep all the pictures nice and big to emphasize the drool effect. Can’t wait to eat there again. -Alana

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The Japanese Taco Masters: Sunny Blue (Santa Monica, California)

During my time in school in South Korea, I found it very challenging to maintain my daily caloric intake of 10,000-12,000. One reason is the food is extremely healthy and calorically low. The second is that the servings are tiny compared to those in the United States. Finally, so much of the food is extremely spicy and very painful for me to eat because of my geographic tongue. The result was I first found out how to say, write, and read wrappers for food. The first words I learned were beef, chicken, tuna and spicy/hot.

I learned how to read the wrappers on a portable food called kimbap, or gimbap, or however you spell or say it. The g and k sound in Korean is one of the tricky ones to learn how to differentiate between when you learn the language. It’s pronounced kimbap, if you’re American. I lived on these… I mean I must have had at least 6-12 a day and they were not of the highest quality. They were typically from 7-11 or a local market similar to 7-11 depending on where I was. We had one of these markets in our residence hall on campus so I got all the ones I could from there. Typically, I would have the not spicy tuna with mayo. It gave me the protein I needed, wasn’t spicy, and had some extra calories from the mayo. It was good, it made me happy and it only led to me losing 30 pounds in Korea as opposed to maybe 40. That’s another story I’ll cover in the future when I talk about my fitness journey and goals. So why did I bother to tell you all this history… well this is why.

Tuna

Tuna

On Main Street in Santa Monica, you can find an amazing little food shop called Sunny Blue. Fit and I went there the first week they opened a few years ago and it was dead every day. The female owner, Keiko,  was nearly the only one working there but we frequented it every day during that week in Samo. Why? Because they served omusubi, or onigiri, or rice balls. These are the Japanese twin of my kimbaps and I was thrilled to find it. They are VERY similar and this location does not lack quality control and creating great flavor profiles. They make all of their omusubi fresh for you. The ingredients are prepared earlier but they are assembled to order, and freshly seasoned in the process.

photo 3 (5)

Over the past few years, they have gotten much more popular and now when we visit, the line is out the door. We are thrilled that they have seen such growth and success because they deserve it for their devotion to their craft. They also serve some traditional Japanese sodas, shrimp chips, and frozen yogurt. When we got the froyo when they first opened, it wasn’t quite the quality of YogurtLand nor did it match their level of omusubi, so we’ve never tried their froyo again. Nevertheless, Sunny Blue is a must stop-by food location in Los Angeles, and the brilliance is you can eat one whenever. I don’t care how full you are from lunch, each rice ball is a snack sized treat that can find its way to your stomach.

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From our most recent trip, yesterday, the menu has expanded to include daily specials and a long list of classic selections. Popular choices include: miso mushroom, hijike shitaki, tuna mayo, tokyo tori, curry chicken, miso beef, and more. Those are our favorites because of the lack of spice, but richness of other flavors. They are reasonably priced in the range of $2.50-$5.00 depending on what you get. I’ve actually never seen one for more than $4.50 so $3-4 is a more accurate range for the normal menu. PLUS, now they sell very cute t-shirts! Sunny Blue is a hungry and fit favorite. We even learned to make it ourselves so when we depart Santa Monica, we can somewhat resemble the deliciousness. It tastes delicious, is light on the wallet, and can definitely help you stay hungry and fit!

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Tuna

Tuna

Restaurant Review: Arabesque (Boulder, CO)

It was a Friday afternoon, we had both gotten off work around 12:30pm and we were ready to eat! It was beautiful out, unlike the few random snowy May days we’ve had. On these kind of days, we want to have a nice slow meal, and enjoy ourselves off somebody else’s food. We went through our options and decided on Arabesque,  a highly-rated place on Yelp with one $. We’ve always wanted to try it. Its customers boast that it has the best chicken shawarma in Boulder. We had to compare it to our favorite place, Mediterranean Market.

photo 1 (3)

When we arrived, it was packed. And it wasn’t exactly what we expected. We expected it to be small and family-owned, yes, but there were lots of rich, well-dressed people (and we come directly from work in our YMCA gear) and just had a chalk-written menu. We looked over the (short) menu and decided what we wanted and then took a table outside (the inside–which is tiny–was packed, and it was beautiful out!). This place supposedly also had the best Chai in town, so I ordered that along with water.

Delicious hot chai

Delicious hot chai

Now this chai was delicious. It came in a big mug and was piping hot. But I still love my Tibet Kitchen homemade chai too. The water came out in a tall pitcher with thin glasses–very elegant. And it was flavored with something I couldn’t place…lavender and honey, or something similar. Very refreshing. Chris ordered the chicken shawarma plate and I ordered the hummus wrap. 

photo 4 (1)

Chris’ shawarma plate

Our waitress, I think, was near the end of her shift and didn’t take our order down correctly. I ended up receiving a chicken wrap instead of just hummus, but I told the kitchen, and spoke to who happened to be the owner and he was very apologetic and delivered a fresh hummus wrap as quickly as he could. Chris wasn’t pleased with that service, but the wife of the owner (who also was the cook) bustles out to clear off a table next to us and Chris asks if he can have their scraps (yes, we don’t like to waste food). She says, “Of course!” and he says, “Never want to waste food,” and she goes, “Yes, I know! Stupid!” She has an accent…not sure where from. She shoulders me with good humor and says, “You’ve got eat chicken in my place!” Her good humor and friendliness got us back on track.

Wrong chicken wrap (still looks delicious)

Wrong chicken wrap (still looks delicious)

My hummus wrap

My hummus wrap

I ate it up quickly as did Chris. Chris said it was the best chicken shawarma he’s had. And you can tell–he cleared the plate completely. Buuuut, the portion was way too small for him. Not even just for him, I agree that there wasn’t that much chicken and pita. Probably because we’re used to Mediterranean Market’s huge portions. And just because we were enjoying ourselves and–more so–because we can’t turn down baklava, we ordered a big baklava. We, of course, devoured it completely. It was one of the best baklava I’ve had. Perfect texture and structural integrity, filled with goodness–can’t really describe the perfection.

BAKLAVA

BAKLAVA

If you’re in Boulder, stop by this place. It’s good food, but small portions, so don’t go too hungry. And don’t you DARE skip out on the baklava–it’s just too good. I wish I still had my chai with the baklava, it would have been perfect together. The owners really made our experience that much better, we would come back again. Cheers!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Hi, my name's Sajah and I'm a firefox

Hi, my name’s Sajah and I’m a firefox

Power Protein Breakfast: Waffles, Greek Yogurt, and Fruit

Besides Weetabix, this has become one of my go-to breakfasts when I have enough time in the morning. It’s packed with protein and fiber, sending you ready to kick butt on the day ahead. Now, typically, store-bought waffles aren’t the best for you. But that all changed when one day I was craving waffles while we were grocery shopping, and I scoured the frozen section for some decent waffles. Tip: always pass up the Eggo’s. Another tip: NEVER PASS UP THE VAN’S. 

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Yep. The name of this natural brand of waffles is Van’s. And no, I did not receive any money from them for this post (though, I wouldn’t mind a tip if they stopped by). Good nutritional value at 180 calories per 2 waffles, 10g protein, 2g fiber, 6g sugar and no saturated fat. Can you say, “YES PLEASE.” But there’s more to this power protein breakfast. What’s a breakfast without greek yogurt? Alright, enough chit-chat–look down for this 5-10 minute breakfast recipe.

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Ingredients

  • 2 Van’s protein waffles
  • 2 dollops of 0% Fage Greek yogurt (or any kind you have)
  • 1/2 tsp butter (optional)
  • 100% pure maple syrup OR agave nectar
  • 2 strawberries (but any fruit will do)

[I’m literally salivating as I write this–it’s that good]

Directions

  • Put waffles into toaster/toaster oven for 5-10 minutes (or until golden brown on both sides)

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  • If you want to, spread a minuscule amount of butter atop the two waffles and plate them.
  • Put a spoonful of greek yogurt on each waffle

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  • Pour your syrup or agave on top (however much you’d like)
  • Cut up your fruit and put on top

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And DIG IN. I literally look forward to this the night before I know I have time in the morning to make it. It’s a perfect-sized breakfast with enough protein to start the day off deliciously and will keep you satisfied more than that bowl of Raisin Bran. Next time you go waffle shopping, try Van’s. It is so worth it. This is a mouth-watering breakfast that doesn’t leave you feeling guilty or heavy afterwards. I have a very active job (I’m a personal trainer after all…) and this is the perfect thing to start the day right. This is a meal that will encourage you to be…hungry and fit! ENJOY! 

I mean, come on, LOOK AT THAT

I mean, come on, LOOK AT THAT

BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria being lazy and tired...and cute

Nymeria being lazy and tired…and cute

Hungry Reviews… Snarf’s (Boulder, CO)

It’s safe to say that I haven’t tried every sandwich in Boulder. We’ve only been here so long and there are lots of places to eat so it’s hard. I have had a fair share of sandwiches from Deli Zone, Cafe Food, and Snarf’s and only one place knows how to put together a sandwich.

Cubano sandwich (Snarf's)

Cubano sandwich (Snarf’s)

Cafe Food is oversimplified to the degree that I can’t distinguish the egg from the mayo in their egg salad, which the owner claims is the best in Boulder. He claims everything is the best there but after the tuna salad and egg salad a few times, I decided there’s no need to return… ever. Deli Zone offers the best bang for your buck as there are plenty of large sandwiches at very reasonable prices. However, they fail to execute on more complicated orders than your basic sandwiches. I’m not talking about gastronomical creations either, just basic stuff like the reuben. Still, it’s on par with Cafe Food food-wise but the customer service puts it slightly ahead.

Then there is Snarf’s. I frequent the one on Pearl, at least once a week.  I’ve had it as many as four times a week… and I’m a sandwich snob from the melting pot of great heroes, subs, and hoagies. Sure, Snarf’s is the most expensive of the three but it’s well worth the extra that you pay.

Menu

Menu

Stack of awesome chips

Stack of awesome chips

They offer simple dishes and complicated pieces as well. I usually get the French Dip at least once a week because it is extremely filling and because the au jus is delicious. I recommend not getting many toppings on your order because it distorts the natural flavors of their creations. My typical trip involves a bag of Zappo’s Voodoo Style Potato Chips, a 12″ Pro French Dip with no topping on white bread, and a black and white milkshake.

Amazing milkshake

Amazing milkshake

Zappo's Voodoo chips

Zappo’s Voodoo chips

Snarf's sandwich

Snarf’s sandwich

It costs a bit but fills me up, makes me feel good, and tastes great. I rarely have been given anything bad there, especially for the amount of times I have been. You have to get used to the crew that works there, and some can get on your nerves, but most of them are great. Snarf’s on Pearl gets Hungry’s seal of approval. Go there and you can stay hungry and fit.

Alana's choice...Tuna Melt with everything from tomatoes to lettuce to hot peppers

Alana’s choice…Tuna Melt with everything from tomatoes to lettuce to hot peppers

Another tuna melt from another time

Another tuna melt from another time

Note from Alana (and shout out to Santa Monicans): If it were a competition, Snarf’s could rival my favorite sandwich place from home, Bay Cities. Different vibe, but delicious sandwiches.

Lactose-Intolerant? I’m Sorry…But Here’s Something for You!

Now Chris’ mom is a fantastic cook and baker, so this one is a treat. Especially for you folks out there who are lactose-intolerant (what a sad world that is) and have other allergies. She’s prepared a Pumpkin Pie Recipe (Lactose Free) for everyone out there for the upcoming holiday!

That sure looks good, doesn’t it? Now trust me, I’ve had many many things she’s cooked or baked from her amazing Thanksgiving Stuffing to her Chocolate Mocha Cake. She’s got it all and she has it down-pat.

Head over to her Etsy site for this delicious recipe and more. She doesn’t just cook–she also crafts. She makes wonderful jewelry and headbands…she paints too! It would really be worth your time to take a look at everything she’s got. And I’m not just saying this because it’s Chris’ mom…it’s because I truly enjoy her good, healthy food and you will too!

(you know it…BONUS KITTY PIC)