When the Hunger Hits…

When the hunger hits….I go downhill.

This morning I had some Greek yogurt with chocolate protein powder, and a little almond butter, before heading out to play squash with Nabilla and Kelsey at 9:45 am. (I guess my late night snack of cashew butter and crackers didn’t transfer into “breakfast energy” for this morning ūüôĀ )

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This combo has become my lunch once or twice in the past week. Thank goodness the box of crackers is finished now.

I was cautious of eating too much because I didn’t want to be a huge lump on court, (see here for what I like to eat before morning workouts!), which¬†was a good decision, however I made the mistake of¬†not bringing a snack. About an hour into playing, I started to get a little hungry, and as we approached the two-hour mark, hunger was at the forefront of my mind.

Needless to say, when I got home, the kitchen was my very first stop. (I still need to shower actually- yuck!).

Aa I consumed a cashew oat protein ball, chicken breast, and lots of water, I prepared the main portion of my lunch. I had originally planned to make plain scrambled eggs, but knew I needed to use up some of the veggies in my fridge.

Enter, veggie-egg scramble!

Image 35I started off by saut√©ing red onions in a little olive oil, then tossed in some¬†kale, red pepper, and roasted corn. Once the veggies were all cooked, I added my eggs, and got scramblin’!

Image 36I topped my scramble with goat cheese, along side my beloved Wawa coffee and a glass of water.

I’ve also since managed to finish off the Greek yogurt container. Looks like today is an endless hunger kind of day!

Time to go work for a little bit, until I meet up with Kat to hang out for a bit, and then Unite Fitness at 4:30! It’s gorgeous out, so I’m hoping Kat and I can chill by the pool at her apartment and soak up some sun. Oh‚Ķ and I have to do that ice bucket challenge…

Questions:

Do you notice your athletic performance start to dwindle when you get hungry? 

Do you bring snacks with you when you work out? 

 

 

Butternut Squash Burritos

Ready for Squash on Squash’s first ever squash recipe?
I give you: Butternut Squash Burritos!¬†They’re vegetarian, vegan, and protein packed!

They’re both¬†sweet and¬†a little spicy thanks to the butternut squash and chill powder, and I didn’t once find myself wishing that there was meat added to the wrap.

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The star of the show. Looks like mango, but it’s actually my other favourite orange food: butternut squash!

One of the best features of this recipe is that it’s extremely flexible. I’d say the only key ingredients for the filling are the squash, beans, onion, and¬†garlic.¬†Plus, some chillies, or chilli powder to give it a little kick.

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So far, I have made two different version of this burrito, and loved how easy it was to add or substitute different vegetables to the mix to change it up slightly, while still ending up with a great-tasting dish.

So,¬†bottom line: if you are missing one or two of the ingredients in this recipe (except for the squash or beans- you definitely want those), don’t automatically nix the recipe! Feel free to substitute edamame for corn, rice for farro, or to even omit the ingredient all together. I found a nice combo¬†that worked for me, but if you have an aversion to one of the ingredients, go ahead and skip it.

You might even find yourself sneaking a few bites as you cook. That’s totally okay ūüôā

Image 8And yes, I was dressed like a tween (before the One Direction concert).

 

Once you have all of your vegetables chopped and ready to go, start by sautéing the garlic and onion together in a pan with a little olive oil.

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Then, add the rest of the vegetables, except the squash.

Once these veggies have cooked, add the cooked squash in small quantities, mashing it into the vegetables in the pan.

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And don’t forget the chilli powder! Throw that in now so that the squash/bean mixture absorbs the spicy flavour.

While the vegetable mixture is cooking, warm the goat cheese in the microwave until it has a texture similar to cream cheese, and can easily be spread with a knife.

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The cheese not only acts as a moisture barrier between the filling and the tortilla, it also adds a ton of flavour.

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Spoon roughly a cup of filling onto the wrap “hot dog style” (aka: in a line down the middle, NOT in a large glob in the middle). Now, before you grill it, is a good time to add avocado, or extra cheese, if you desire.

How to fold a burrito/wrap properly:

  1. Make sure the filling is in a line down the middle, and that you don’t have too much.
  2. Fold both edges of the tortilla in (in the picture above, the right and left sides), and holding them down, pick up the bottom of the tortilla to fold it over the filling.
  3. Tuck the bottom edge under the filling, and roll the wrap forward.

It should look something like the picture below,¬†minus¬†the little edge that got away. ūüôĀ

Place the burrito on a pan, and heat until golden brown, and the outside is a little crispy.

Image 2Sadly, I underestimated the power of my pan, and managed to burn the top of my burrito. Fortunately, once I topped it with some Greek yogurt and salsa, it was alllll good ūüôā

Image 3Aside from the taste, the best feature of this burrito was that it was filling without leaving me overly stuffed, like the time I had the breakfast burrito from Green Eggs cafe.

Butternut Squash Burrito 

Makes 4 burritos

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 2 cups butternut squash, cooked, peeled, and cut into cubes (must be cooked enough to mash with a fork)
  • 2/3 cup beans (chick peas, black beans, white beans all work great)
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 cup farro, cooked
  • 1/2 avocado (or more, depending on if you want to use it as a topping!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (feel free to add more or less, depending on your spice preferences!)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the rest of the burrito:

  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, warmed
  • Toppings: guacamole or avocado, Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, cilantro

Directions

  1. Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil. Add farro and all vegetables except for butternut squash.
  2. Cook mixture for roughly 5 minutes, and add squash, mashing it with a fork. Once all squash has been added, sprinkle chilli powder and salt and pepper.
  3. Let squash mixture simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.
  4. While mixture is simmering, spread an even layer of ~2 tbsp of goat cheese on each tortilla.
  5. Spoon mixture onto tortilla as pictured above, and wrap. Do NOT overfill the tortilla!
  6. Place burrito onto stove on low heat, and rotate until outside is crispy and golden brown.
  7. Remove from heat, top with salsa, Greek yogurt, and guacamole, and enjoy!

Questions:

Do you like squash? Do you have a favourite kind of squash, and how do you like to prepare it?

Winter squash is definitely my fave; spaghetti, butternut and acorn are at the top of the list! Wait, can I add pumpkin to that list too??! Cause let’s be real, who doesn’t like pumpkin (or is it just pumpkin spice that we love?).

 

Friday Favourites #6: Back to the Tweenages

Happy Friday everyone! First off, say hello to Squash on Squash’s new design! I’ve been wanting to change the look of the blog for a little while now, and finally decided on this theme. Over the next little while there will probably be a few more changes made to the site, so don’t be too shocked if there are some alterations when you check back ūüôā

Alright! Time to share what I’ve been diggin’ for the past week:

One Direction

I can’t not start off the post with this one- sorry to all those who automatically hate me for even mentioning this teen-heartthrob/cheesy boy band.

one-direction-Tour-2014-one-direction-36886450-2000-1596Courtney and I went to see these guys at Lincoln Financial last night, and to say that we were excited was an understatement. That is, before and after the torrential downpour that nearly cancelled the concert.

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Before and during the concert

Okay, well on second thought it doesn’t look as though Courtney’s enthusiasm faded due to the rain, but we really were pretty worried. Just look at the state of the stadium between the opening and main acts:

Image 3All that cloudiness in the picture? A steady stream of rain that fell for a good 45 minutes. I was seriously impressed by the die-hard fans that didn’t leave their seats before 1D came on stage. I bet they all woke up with a cold today.

Image 4It’s safe to say that we completely transformed into 13-year old girls for the 2-hour concert. Tweenage clothes, middle-school dance moves, and girly screaming helped us fit right into the crowd. Well, except for the fact that we were at least 2 feet taller than nearly the entire audience, minus the Dad’s who so lovingly accompanied their daughters, and plugged their ears throughout all of the boy band madness. To all the Dad’s- you guys deserve a million gold stars for that one.

Butternut Squash

Soon to come- Squash on Squash’s¬†first ever squash recipe!!!

ImageLast night, Courtney and I made butternut squash and black bean burritos for a pre-concert dinner. They were super filling, which really surprised me because they were completely vegetarian! Yay for beans!

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Cashew Oat Balls

I seriously considered just scrapping vegetables from my meals and replacing them (and all other foods) with these babies.

Image 31I’m well aware that I claim¬†everything I make tastes like cookie dough, but these¬†really do! Thank goodness I only made 5, because these flax-filled, protein-packed, cashew butter critters were freakishly addicting.

Unless you are allergic to cashew butter, and if you like cookie dough (who doesn’t?!),¬†make these ASAP. Well, as soon as I post the recipe ūüôā

Old Pictures

It only took me 3 months to get around to doing it, but I finally got around to cleaning out my backpack yesterday. While doing so, I discovered a random assortment of things, like my Klipsch headphones receipt (thank goodness- now I can get my current ones replaced!), as well as some old photographs that I brought with me to college freshman year.

  • Image 21Top left: a post card that I picked up in Cape Town
  • Bottom left: me as a kid in a pool with my dad. If you look closely, you can see that my bathing suit has a ruffled skirt on it. All I can say is, it’s a good thing there are certain things only little kids can pull off.
  • Top right: my grandparents and me before my high school graduation. The most shocking part about this picture is the difference in my shoulders between then and now. This was back in the Noodle-arms-Nicole stage of my life. (Not that I’m super muscular now, but at least I can do more than 1 pushup).
  • Bottom middle: my parents and me at my high school graduation ceremony. Check out that purple cast! Thankfully it came off the day before the grad dinner dance so I didn’t have to sport it instead of a corsage (see top right picture).
  • Bottom left: Just your usual Photo Booth fun.

Well that’s the big news from my corner! For the first time ever, I’m going to link up with Heather from Housewife Glamour for Friday Favourites. Thanks for hosting, Heather! If you want to see what other healthy living bloggers are lovin’ lately, be sure to check it out!

Questions: 

  • What are¬†your thoughts on One Direction? Love ’em? Hate ’em?
  • Do you have any fun plans this weekend?!

 

 

 

 

Squash on Squash at Zavino

Tonight, Clara, Emma and I went to an Italian restaurant, Zavino, for dinner. Although it appears to be a standard modern restaurant, its food is extraordinary. Perhaps it was because I was famished, but every single thing on the menu had me salivating.

And you know what special item was featured on the menu?¬†Squash!!!!¬†As soon as I saw squash on the menu, I knew this restaurant was going to be a winner. In the past, I’ve found that most restaurants that offer either¬†kale or¬†squash¬†are very health conscious, and I am almost always extremely satisfied with my meal.

Tonight was no different, and of course I had to opt for one of the dishes featuring squash! I ordered the kale and butternut squash salad, with raisins, almonds, and citrus vinaigrette.

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The difference maker in this salad was the finely chopped kale! It was almost shredded, such that I was able to eat normal sized bites, without being overwhelmed with large leaves and unevenly distributed dressing. 

I also ordered a side of champagne vinaigrette Brussels sprouts which were equally as delicious. The three of us had no trouble polishing them off!

Image 20The sprouts were perfectly roasted, and I believe they were mixed in with some sautéed onions. I love how simple vegetables can be turned into divine side dishes merely by roasting and lightly seasoning them.

Emma ordered the other squash dish featured on the menu, which was spaghetti squash in a tomato sauce. I forgot to take a bite (although she offered), but judging by the fact that it took her all of 25 seconds to eat it, I am assuming she found no fault with her meal.

Image 18

 

It looks a bit unappetizing here because I snapped the picture after she had already mixed it all together, but don’t let the “messy brains” look fool you. I’m almost drooling¬†just looking at it.

Clara ordered the Margherita¬†pizza- a simple, classic, no-fail standby. I got to try a bit of it, and instantly felt as though I’d been transported to some pizzeria in Naples! (Okay, maybe that was the hunger talking, but it¬†was really, really good).

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What I can’t get over, is how incredible¬†simple this pizza is, and it’s probably one of my favourite kinds! Sometimes I feel as though it can be a cop-out to order a Margherita, because it’s kind of seen to be the equivalent of a plain cheese pizza, but that is so not the case! (Actually, I need to defend cheese pizza here too, there is nothing wrong with a good slice of cheese pizza ūüôā )

When we received our bill, we couldn’t help but have a little laugh at its presentation:

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Gotta love some humour. Fortunately for us, Zavino is actually fairly well priced- great value for college students on a budget!

Since we had fulfilled our veggie quotas for the day, naturally we stopped for frozen yogurt on our way back home.

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I got some salted caramel peanut butter fro yo, along with some Oreo pieces (majorly underrated topping!!!), peanut butter cups, cheesecake pieces, and cookie dough. This might be the only time¬†ever that I have not finished my fro yo cup, because by the end I really wasn’t feeling it anymore. Also much to my dismay, I found the cheesecake and cookie dough to be very subpar.

Overall, a great evening with friends and good food (despite the inadequate cookie dough and cheesecake), and I am now ready to pass.right.out.

 

Marinara Makes Everything Better

This morning I woke up earlier than I’d hoped, especially since I was still exhausted from the weekend. My original plan to go sit and research at Starbucks turned into me researching in my PJ’s while constantly snacking through til 2 pm. I blame my couch.

I eventually headed out to do a few errands before meeting up with Courtney to play some squash. Oh, this also happened before squash:

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Took a little nap on a nice little patch of grass I found, using my laptop case as a pillow. When I woke up, both of my arms were asleep and stiff, and my entire body was itchy. Things only got worse from then on, as it turns out that the combination of sweat and grass hives is not good. I was pretty relieved to have a nice cold shower when I got back home.

Dinner

I was impatient tonight, and very much considered having “breakfast for dinner”. However, I had basically been eating breakfast food all day long at home, and decided my body would probably benefit from a meal that consisted of foods other than eggs, yogurt, nuts, and bananas.

In less than 10 minutes, I put together a vegetable quinoa dish that tasted an awful lot like a pasta bowl!

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Just the veggies: Green beans, orange pepper, broccoli and chick peas

In a pan, I stir-fried some orange pepper, green beans, broccoli, and chick peas. I then added about 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa, covered it in marinara sauce, and dug in!

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Marinara veggies + quinoa. I ended up mixing it all together before eating it!

Maybe it’s partly because I was so hungry, but this tasted delicious and really reminded me of pasta!¬†I even went back afterwards and had some more quinoa with chickpeas (no veggies left) and smothered it in marinara again.

How did I discover that marinara makes everything better?

I originally developed this marinara vegetable trick at school, when I was trying to find ways to make the dining hall vegetables more appealing. They always tasted like they were previously frozen and bland, and I really did not enjoy eating them plain. One of the foods that was always served in the dining hall was penne and marinara sauce. I eventually discovered that the marinara sauce disguised the less than appealing taste of the vegetables, and I actually enjoyed eating them! I often also topped my tomato-y veggies with parmesan cheese to add a bit more flavour.

After dinner tonight, I snacked on some frozen strawberries and frozen blueberries.

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Frozen berries

The strawberries were pretty average in both size and taste, but I swear the blueberries were made for oompa-loompas or something! Seriously, they were like blueberry pellets.

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What is this, a blueberry for ants?!?! (Name that movie!!!)

My night finally finished off with a 2.5 hour long FaceTime conversation with my friend who’s currently working as an intern at a fitness company.¬†His internship sounds¬†incredible and I had a great time catching up with him.

Alrighty well I signed up for an 8:30 BodyCycle class to get my butt out of bed before 2 pm¬†noon tomorrow, so it’s time to hit the hay!