Saturday, May 9, 2015

Vegan Chocolate Monkey Smoothie

I know what you need in your life.

A healthy chocolate, banana smoothie that's so good it tastes like a milkshake.

My weekday breakfast & lunch eating is fairly simple, and it includes a smoothie 4 days out of 5. A shake is almost always my breakfast of choice on the days I go into the city, partly because they're healthy and keep me full for hours, partly because they're quick and I can take them in the car with me to drink on the way to the bus station, and partly because they're just so good and I crave them constantly.

Depending on my mood or the fruit I'm using, I'll use either whole milk or coconut water as the liquid in the smoothie. I typically use Cocozia because it's organic, one-ingredient (no additives) and comes from young green coconuts, unlike many mainstream varieties. When I found out they were offering chocolate coconut water, I couldn't wait to try it out.

Jackpot. This coconut water tastes like chocolate milk, is slightly thick, and gives smoothies a nice deep cocoa flavor and creamy texture without having to use milk (good for vegans, and good for when you want a creamier smoothie but the health benefits of coconut water). This chocolate version does have some sugar and other ingredients that are not in the plain coconut water, but all the ingredients are readable and there is nothing nasty in it. 

Blend it up with frozen bananas and peanut butter, and you've got dessert for breakfast.

Vegan Chocolate Monkey Smoothie

1 frozen banana, chopped
1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder (I use Natural Factors Raw Organic Vegan Protein*)
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
6 oz. chocolate coconut water

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

*Protein powders are not all created equal. Make sure you read the ingredients on the label or you could be ingesting a lot of sugars, fake flavors and synthetic vitamins. 

Note: This post was sponsored by Cocozia. As always, however, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Bridal Shower for a Wine Lover

In just 6 short weeks, this pretty lady will be getting married.

I can hardly wait to see my beautiful little sister put on her wedding dress and walk down the aisle. She's going to make such a gorgeous bride and the weekend of Philly fun that she and Justyn have planned has me itching for June 6 to arrive already!

With the wedding just over a month away, the festivities have already begun. A few weeks ago the day finally came for her bridal shower. I've been having so much fun planning this event and it's been tough to keep everything a secret. She knew she was having a shower, but all the details of the day were a surprise, so I tried my hardest to keep things under wraps. Not easy when you talk to your sister a million times a month!

Amanda and Justyn are wine lovers, and went to Napa Valley on their first big vacation together, so I knew when I started brainstorming with the bridal party that it had to be a vineyard theme. I love how everything came together, thanks to some small local vendors, Etsy shops and Pinterest crafting.

The Details


- Signage and Favor Tags by Etsy Shops

- Wine Charm Favors by Etsy

- Personalized Recipe Book by Zazzle

- Custom Wood Trays and Wood Chest (used as the wishing well) by Price Custom Creations

- Wine Cake and Gourmet Cupcakes by Angela Goblesky Pastries

The Food

The Bride & Her Maids


I love these candid shots caught by my aunt. I can tell you that my grandmother gave Amanda a very inappropriate card for a bridal shower. Love my crazy family!

Such a beautiful day for an amazing bride-to-be!

Next up - the bachelorette party. We're heading down to Florida this Friday for a weekend of beachy relaxation. Sun, sand, warm breezes and pina coladas, here we come!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pesto Caprese Toasts

Happy Saturday! Coming at you with a really quick breakfast recipe this morning.

I know avocado toast is all the rage these days, and don't get me wrong, I eat my fair share of it. I love avocado on just about anything, and eating it in all its un-mucked-up glory with just some sea salt, olive oil and crushed red pepper on good bread is probably one of my favorite things to eat ever. But...sometimes you just need a change. And it's spring, and basil is making its way back into my kitchen. And basil means pesto.

Basil also means caprese salad. But in this version, I've swapped spinach for the tomatoes and then piled everything up on top of toasted Ezekiel bread. It is so.good. It's garlicky, cheesy, bright, fresh, crunchy, creamy, nutty - literally all the good food adjectives. Matt and I have eaten it both for breakfast and lunch, and I'm sure it'd be good for a mid-afternoon pick me up. What's not to love?

Pesto Caprese Toasts
2 slices of sprouted or whole wheat bread, toasted
1/4 cup basil pesto
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
8 oz. buffalo mozzarella, sliced thick
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

On each slice of toast, spread half the pesto; top with spinach leaves and mozzarella slices, drizzle with olive oil, and top with salt, pepper and fresh basil. Devour.