real food

Raw, vegan protein balls {recipe}

When hunger strikes, I have to eat right then. It’s kind of a curse.. Or maybe just a lack of patience.

To keep from losing my mind or grabbing something that I’ll regret later, I always make sure to have simple and nutrient packed snacks on hand. Especially these protein balls!

They’re super easy to make, perfect for on the go and satisfying!

Rawmond Joy:

1/4 cup almonds
12 dates
4 teaspoons cacao powder
1/3 cup coconut flakes (Plus extra for coating)

Chop almonds in food processor
Add dates + cacao powder
Pulse until it turns into a chunky mixture
*You may need to add a little drip of water to help the cacao powder coat the dates and almonds
Add coconut flakes then pulse until mixed
Remove 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball
Roll ball in excess coconut flakes

Cinnamon Spice:

1/4 cup almonds
12 dates
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Chop almonds in food processor
Add dates + cinnamon
Pulse until it turns into a chunky mixture
Remove 1 tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball
Roll ball in more cinnamon (Optional)

These protein balls save perfectly in the fridge and are wonderful when you need something fast and filling to munch on!

Do you have to eat as soon as hunger strikes?

What’s your favorite snack?

Simply, Sum


“Get in loser, we’re going (grocery) shopping”

If you don’t get this Mean Girls reference, you can’t sit with us.. Jk, take a seat and we’ll watch it together!

For me, Sundays are a day of rest and recuperation before the week to come; including no alarm clock, pancakes and taking B to the dog park! However, my #1 responsibility for the day is to stock up on groceries.

I occasionally shop around at Publix, Whole Foods and Costco for bulk items or random things, but I purchase all of my perishable/weekly groceries at Trader Joe’s! LOVE THAT PLACE!

I used to meal plant to the T, but now I just kind of wing it. My creative juices flow more when I have an array of different ingredients and have to concoct something on the spot!

So… Time to shop till we drop. Or get hungry.



Anyone else walk around this thing 10 times before picking out the best bunch? Into the buggy goes 11 bananas!


The best part about these warmer months are all the yummy fruits that are in season. Into the buggy goes strawberries, grapes and pineapple.

IMG_5918 IMG_5919

One of the many reasons I love Trader Joe’s is because they always have new products on rotation. For example, this Smallish Gems sweet lettuce! Never heard of it, so of course I had to get a pack. Other veggies that went into the buggy were mushrooms, onions, cauliflower rice, 2 bags of spinach and an eggplant.


Speaking of new products, these Inner Bean snacks and Just Beets chips caught my eye! I’ve had the just Beets chips before, so I opted for the black bean snacks.. Only to get home and discover they have traces of milk. Rookie mistake!


This Raspberry & Lime Sparkling water had to come home with me too. Anything that makes drinking water easier, amiright?


The most amazing section, to me, of Trader Joes is the Tofu/meat alternative section. It is mind blowing what can be made out of soy. I don’t consume very many of these products though, I generally steer away from processed foods, except tofu occasionally. The Organic Sprouted tofu is my favorite to cook with!


I love cruising through the ice cream and cookie/snack isle just to see what wacky products are out now. Matt isn’t allowed down this isle though, we’d leave with one of everything.


My buggy generally looks the same from week to week, give or take a few items. (Peep the reusable bag! Save a tree people!)


My total ended up being $52.29! Pretty typical around these parts.


My complete grocery haul included 11 bananas, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, dried figs, mint leaves, tofu, organic peanut butter, frozen bell peppers, two bags of riced cauliflower, two bags of spinach, mushrooms, onions, frozen edamame, sweet lettuce leaves, one mango, one lemon, one lime, two waters, one pack of wasabi seaweed snacks, one bag of plantain chips (aka crack) and that bag of Inner Bean snacks that bit me in the butt for not checking the ingredients.

Now lets see what we can whip up this week with these yummy ingredients!

What’s your favorite grocery store to shop at?

If you shop at Trader Joe’s, whats your favorite fun product they sell?

Meal plan or wing it?

Simply, Sum!

Quinoa Zucchini Fritters! {Recipe}

Can I tell you a secret? I hate zucchini. Zucchini isn’t my favorite vegetable. But as the adult that I claim to be, I’ve been trying to expose myself more to it, in the hopes of acquiring at least a small taste for it.

The best way to get in your veggies without having to bear the taste is to hide them!

So.. Zoodles? No. Roasted Zucchini? No. Zoats? NO! Zucchini fritters? YES!

I stumbled upon this recipe on Delish Knowledge but made a few tweaks so it could be as simple as possible.



  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon diced onions
  • 1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup oat flour


  • Boil 1/2 cup of quinoa with 1 cup of water
  • Cut zucchini into rounds
  • Place zucchini, onion and garlic in food processor. I used my Nutribullet, only having to pulse it about three times. You still want it to be chunky.


  • Transfer the chopped zucchini, onion and garlic to a paper towel or rag. Surprise! Zucchini lets out water when its cut, didnt know that! Pat out as much water as possible


  • After the rag or paper towel has adsorbed some of the excess liquid,  transfer to a mixing bowl


  • Mix in seasoning, oat flour + quinoa


  • Form four medium sized patties on skillet or griddle, over medium heat


  • Flip after about 60 seconds


  • When both sides are the preferred texture of crispiness, transfer to a plate and enjoy!


img_5426I topped mine with hot sauce and nutritional yeast! So much yum!

Whats your favorite way to hide vegetables that you don’t enjoy on their own?

Have you ever had nutritional yeast? I just picked some up for the first time THIS WEEK and it is life changing! I definitely plan on putting it on well.. everything!

Simply, Summer



Stovetop carrot cake oatmeal! {Recipe}

Nothing says “adulting” like getting in an extra serving of vegetables during breakfast.

Just like nothing says “winning” like thinking you’re eating a guilt free dessert.. for breakfast!

  • handful of shredded carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 banana
  • ground cinnamon


Start off by putting one cup of water with a handful of shredded carrots on the stove top. This allows time for the water to get hot and carrots to tenderize while you’re preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Measure out your 1/2 cup of oats. I prefer quick cooking (dun-dun-dun)!

When your water has reached the point where it’s almost boiling, carefully use a spoon to transport the carrots to the bowl of oats. I do this because I don’t always use all of the water, but I always want all of the carrots. Proceed by pouring in the water. Give it a good mix. Let sit.

While the oats are soaking, cut up your banana.

After about one or two minutes, add a hearty amount of cinnamon to the oatmeal; considering I use the cinnamon and banana as the only sweeteners, I don’t hold back. I don’t have exact measurements (which is why I’ll never claim to be a baker) but I’d estimate about one tablespoon. Add banana.

Mix well and ENJOY!

What’s your favorite oatmeal flavor?

Do you ever “hide” vegetables in your dishes?

Simply, Summer.