THE BIGGEST SURPRISE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE + Brown Rice Pudding

I still can’t believe that I’m an adult. Turning 18 is a huge age change – I’ve gone from childhood to an official adult. I felt like an adult before, but for some reason today I feel even more like one. I celebrated this weekend with some fun:

I saw PianoGuys LIVE at their concert at my college!





I went to the thrift store and got some new clothes! A pair of jeans, 3 shirts/blouses, 3 skirts, a dress, a pair of pajama pants, 4 plates, and a bowl for less than $40! :D

I bought 9lbs of strawberries Saturday night.


And I’ve already finished them. It’s been quite a delicious weekend. ;)

(Because I ate my strawberries so quickly before I got a picture of them, I’m borrowing this picture from GoogleThey looked just like these though – absolutely red and gorgeous.)

Monday I went and got my hair done. They trimmed it and added more layers (since I love layers – they really bring out the curl in my hair when I scrunch it instead of blow-drying it).

Today I also got to talk with my beloved Nutrition Instructor about life and how I’m doing in college. I am so grateful to have someone I feel comfortable going to and can talk with. Yes I cried (I always seem to do that…), but it really helped me today. I needed it. (Do you feel that same way sometimes?)

AND, I JUST GOT THE BIGGEST SURPRISE IN MY LIFE! MY ROOMMATES AND FRIENDS GOT TOGETHER AND MADE ME AN EDIBLE ARRANGEMENT CAKE!!!!!


IT ABSOLUTELY MADE MY DAY!!!!! <3

Today I also wanted to share with you a new favorite recipe.


My Brown Rice Pudding!


Combine the rice,


cornstarch, cinnamon, and stevia


in the bottom of the crock-pot.


Add the soymilk and vanilla.


Cook on high heat for 2-3 hours.


Top with desired toppings and dig in! :D


Brown Rice Pudding

Great for breakfast or dessert. Makes 2 cups worth (4 servings with add-ins)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used fortified vanilla soymilk)
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice (or quinoa if you have it on hand)
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste (I use 2-3 packets)

Plus add-ins/toppings of choice – see below

Directions

Combine the rice, cornstarch, cinnamon, and stevia in the bottom of the crock-pot. Add the soymilk and vanilla. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. Serve warm or cold.

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Add-in ideas:

  • Chocolate chips + cherries + vanilla extract
  • Bananas + walnuts +cinnamon
  • Raisins + apples + dash of nutmeg
  • Coconut flakes + sliced almonds + chocolate chips
  • Strawberries + vanilla extract + “cream” (I used vanilla soymilk)

There are a lot more than this, but these are just a few on the top of my head. If you try any other flavor experimentations I’d love to hear about them!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! <3

With lots of hugs,

Kathleen

Btw, Reese’s PB Cups are the BEST!

(Vegan) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Muffins

Hey My Scrumptious Chocolate Chips!

I can’t believe that my classes start in 3 days!!!! I’m really excited to meet my new instructors and to work with my Nutrition instructor. I’ve enjoyed the rest I’ve had this last week, but I think having nothing to do is starting to get to me… I compiled a list of things I wanted to do before this next week, and once I completed them I’ve just been trying to fill my time with things that uplift and are beneficial. I’m really excited that my new roommates are here and that I can start getting to know them this weekend.

One thing I’ve realized while I’ve been here at college is that I don’t have a lot of time for baking. My roommates bake ALL of the time, but I don’t have the ingredients to bake. I’m starting to collect some, but not enough yet… Because of that, here’s a recipe I love that I made back at home before I left!


My (Vegan) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Muffins!


In a large bowl, measure out the flour, flax, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.


Combine until homogeneous.


Combine the tofu, oil, sugar, and vanilla (either in the blender or a large bowl).


I like to use my BlendTec to make it perfectly smooth, but you can also use a whisk or hand mixer — breaking down the tofu is the main concern. (Gosh I miss my BlendTec…)


Shred the zucchini. (Leave the peel on – it adds lots of nutrients, fiber, and gives a nice color.)


Make a “well” in the center of the flour-mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. (You can also just add the dry to the wet, as the picture above shows, but I prefer adding the wet to the dry.)

Stir it all in until all the flour is incorporated (don’t overmix).


Add the chocolate chips and zucchini to the batter…


…and fold them in gently. (Again, being careful to not overmix.)


Scoop the batter into lined muffin trays, and bake at 325*F for about 20-30 minutes, or until the center is firm and bounces back when lightly pressed or if a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


Let them cool for a few minutes in the trays, and then transfer them to a wire rack. Peel off the wrapper and dig-in!


(Vegan) Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup silken soft tofu
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup ground flax
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cup shredded or grated zucchini (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips

Directions

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, flax, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Combine the tofu, oil, sugar, and vanilla (either in the blender or a large bowl). I like to use my BlendTec to make it perfectly smooth, but you can also use a whisk or hand mixer — breaking down the tofu is the main concern.

Shred the zucchini. (Leave the peel on – it adds lots of nutrients, fiber, and gives a nice color.)

Make a “well” in the center of the flour-mixture and pour the wet mixture into it. (You can also just add the dry to the wet, as the picture above shows, but I prefer adding the wet to the dry.) Stir it all in until all the flour is incorporated (don’t overmix). Add the chocolate chips and zucchini to the batter and fold them in gently. (Again, being careful to not overmix.)

Scoop the batter into lined muffin trays, and bake at 325*F for about 20-30 minutes, or until the center is firm and bounces back when lightly pressed or if a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let them cool for a few minutes in the trays, and then transfer them to a wire rack. Peel off the wrapper and dig-in!

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These freeze really well too – I love making a batch, keeping a couple out, and then freezing the rest. I can then pull out how many I need and keep the rest for deliciousness later!

P.S. Here’s a sneak peak at some recipes coming soon: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers, Brown Rice Pudding, Carob Chip Banana Oatmeal Muffins, Lentil Veggie Burgers, and Copy-Cat Great Harvest Honey Wheat Bread.

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One of my roommates invited me to go out to dinner with them, so I got to go! I hope you have a wonderful Friday! :D

With lots of hugs,

Kathleen

A Single-lady’s treat: Reese’s PB Cup by the Spoon.

Since finals are this coming week, I wanted to share a very special recipe with you.

I have been dying to share it with you, and now you can dive into some peanut butter chocolate heaven with me this week. (I will definitely have this throughout the week as I take my tests. ;))

It doesn’t take a lot of ingredients (you know how I like short ingredient lists)

Very college-living friendly (only requires a spoon and bowl).

AND, before I go on, I must warn you: This beyond delicious.

It. is. DEADLY!

You might even call it devilish.

Therefore…


Proceed with caution, if you dare. ;)


Measure out the peanut butter and scoop it into a small cup/bowl. (If you refrigerate the peanut butter, you may try microwaving it for a couple of seconds to help the peanut butter mix.)


Add the vanilla, cocoa powder, and stevia.


Integrate the cocoa into the peanut butter, stirring until combined.

Take your spoon and DIG IN! :D


A Single-lady’s treat: Reese’s PB-Cup by the Spoon

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. all natural peanut butter*
  • 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 packet stevia*

Directions

Measure out the peanut butter and scoop it into a small cup/bowl. (If you refrigerate the peanut butter, you may try microwaving it for a couple of seconds to help the peanut butter mix.) Add the vanilla, cocoa powder, and stevia. Integrate the cocoa into the peanut butter, stirring until combined. Take your spoon and DIG IN! :D

*Notes (for alternatives):

  1. I usually just eyeball all the ingredients when I make it (‘cuz sometimes I want a more dark-chocolaty experience and others I want a sweeter treat). I’ve used a couple different kinds of stevia with this and I like the more powdery kind for this. The granular kind (like True-Via) is delicious but gives a granular texture to it; I prefer the smooth consistency that comes from the more-powdery stevia or a little honey, agave, or brown rice syrup (to taste).
  2. For those with peanut sensitivities, you can try using almond butter or sunflower seed butter (Sun Butter) in place of the peanut butter. I personally haven’t tried them yet, but I can see no reason why they wouldn’t work, especially using my homemade sun butter since it has a peanutty-taste to it.

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I hope you enjoy this as much as I do! <3

With lots of hugs,

Kathleen