What I Ate Wednesday

A little reflection, a little coffee, and a lot of delicious eats. What I Ate Wednesday is a grab bag of goodies this week!

Hey y’all! We made it to Wednesday! I’m taking Friday off this week, so it’s basically Thursday, which means it’s almost Friday, which means my week is basically almost over. Logic.

Before the eats, I want to share a bit of a bit of a backslide I’ve had lately. I’ve been working extremely hard on loosening the reigns around food and exercise. A few injuries and some serious mental and emotional instability came as a warning sign that I was slipping back into some unhealthy disordered eating behaviors. So for the last few months, I have been feeding my body what it craves and moving it in ways that feel good, even if it means eating more and moving less. And everything has been feeling great until the last week or so…

As some negative body image and self-depreciating thoughts have crept in, so have my anxiety and need for control. I noticed it today when I thought to myself “it’s time to stop eating so many snacks“. HOLD UP. Snacks are great. Snacks keep me sustained through the day. Snacks keep me from eating my arm off before dinner.

I’m proud of the fact that I’m able to recognize these unhealthy thoughts and call them out for what they are. But it’s hard. It’s hard to feel shitty about my body and accept that I don’t need to act on that. I’ve been torn between wanting to control my body to look a certain way and wanting to just be able to relax be comfortable in my own skin. The choice is obvious but like many things in life, it’s “easier said than done”. But aren’t all things worth having at least a little hard?? Isn’t that why we buy pistachios with the shells on??? No…? Oh…

Thanks for listening to my ramblings. Putting these thoughts on a page help me cope. Now let’s talk about the fun stuff, shall we?

Per usual, we split a banana on the way to the gym. Even more exciting though, was what we picked up AFTER the gym. First, we voted (hopefully you did too!). Then, we hit up the brand new Native Cold Pressed juice bar and cafe that opened in our neighborhood. John got the coffee smoothie and I got a pumpkin pecan protein bite and a pumpkin hazelnut latte. When we got home, I used the latte as creamer in my Dandy Blend coffee substitute. It was SO DOPE and I already know my bank account is going to suffer now that this new shop is open…

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Despite the goodies, I still wanted a full breakfast so I whipped up a hugh jass smoothie. I packed in: frozen banana, blueberries, cauliflower, beets, Garden of Life chocolate protein powder, Amazing Grass greens powder, a big handful of spinach, and almond milk. Super yum!

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I snacked on the aforementioned protein bite throughout the morning which kept me full for a surprisingly long time.

I’m just going to throw it out there, my lunch was disappointing. Womp, womp. We were at Easton this weekend and popped into Piada for lunch. I was pumped to see their new Mediterranean Power Bowl, which looked right up my alley. GUYS. I was blownnnn away. It far exceeded my expectations. So much so, that I tried to recreate it at home. I cooked up some quinoa, piled on roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes, and sautéed some chickpeas with za’atar. I even made the harissa yogurt sauce that I didn’t get at the store (because dairy) with Kite Hill plain Greek style yogurt. But without the pickled onions, cilantro, and green harissa sauce, my copycat iteration just lacked the pop of acid the original heftily delivers. Looks like I’ll be finding excuses to get to Piada more often…

The Piada version:

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

My version:

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Someone please tell me I’m not the only one who snacks while waiting for dinner to cook….. Bueller…? I’ve been on a kick for crunchy snacks lately and these green bean crisps are my love language. Peep the little kitty begging for a bite…

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Please don’t judge this dinner by its dimly-lit cover. It may be ugly, but the Mexican taco casserole I made on Monday has been a dinner hit all week. It was totally improvised but I may have to try to recreate it to share the recipe here! Some more roasted cauliflower and broccoli on the side to fill up our plates and bellies.

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

After dinner, we fooled around with John’s new iPhone 8+ and I sipped on this Healthaid ginger lemon kombucha. I hadn’t had this flavor before and while I love ginger, I wouldn’t get it again. The ginger was so strong I had heartburn all evening…

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

That’s all I got! Be kind to yourself this week. Love yew!

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Who needs candles when your food smells this good?! Prepare for a houseful of fantastic fall scents (and flavor!) when you make 3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter!

A few weekends ago, John and I drove out to Branstool Orchards, a family-owned fruit farm in Utica, Ohio, to go apple picking. We had visited their truck at the Clintonville and Worthington Farmers Markets over the past few months and the produce is always fantastic! So when I was looking around for a place for us to go pick our own, I knew that Branstool had exactly what I wanted.

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

While we were there, they were picking seven different varieties including Melrose, Fuji, Pink Lady, Gold Rush, and a few others I can’t remember. We weren’t really sure which we liked- except for Gold Rush, which I adore- so we hit up all the trees and got a little bit of everything. It gave us a nice mix of crisp apples for snacking and softer apples for baking or blending.

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Enter, apple butter. Though it contains no actual butter at all, you’ll find yourself slathering it all over alllll the things. Crunchy wheat toast with vegan butter? Tasty. Add apple butter? Irresistible! Bagel with cream cheese? Good. Add apple butter? Heavenly! Warm bowl of oatmeal? Comforting. Add apple butter? Decadent! I have yet to find something it doesn’t go great with…

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Something so indulgent surely takes hours of manual labor, involves pounds of refined sugar, and requires a laundry list of hard-to-find ingredients, right? Wrong-o my friends! Just a few pounds of apples, a few dates or spoonfuls of your sweetener of choice, and a touch of cinnamon. Das it!

Perhaps the most thrilling part of this recipe is walking through the door after work to your own potpourri of sweet, spiced apples. Forget buying fall-scented candles and toss a few apples in the crockpot and call it a day.

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Make some apple butter and try to hang on to a jar for at least a week. I’ve got an incredible recipe using the sweet stuff coming at ya next week. But I can’t say I’d blame you if it’s all gone by then…

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 hours

Who needs candles when your food smells this good?! Prepare for a houseful of fantastic fall scents (and flavor!) when you make 3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter!

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds apples
  • 5-6 pitted dates (optional)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (or sub 2 tsp. ground cinnamon)

Instructions

  1. Wash the apples well and chop them into large chunks, removing the seeds and core but keeping the skins.
  2. Add the apples, dates, and cinnamon sticks to a large slow cooker and turn to Low setting. Cook for 8 hours, until apples are completely soft.
  3. Transfer apples to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. You will have to do this in batches. Alternatively, you can blend right in the pot with an immersion blender.
  4. Return the blended apples to the slow cooker and cook for an additional 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for 2-3 weeks.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/3-ingredient-slow-cooker-apple-butter/

3-Ingredient Slow Cooker Apple Butter | AreYouKitchenMe.com

What I Ate Wednesday

What I Ate Wednesday on Halloween is full of treats- no tricks! 

Happy Wednesday! It’s been a while since I checked in with a What I Ate Wednesday post… work has been insanely busy and I’ve just been really drained in the evenings. But there’s light at the end of the busy season tunnel and the holidays are right around the corner! Not a lot else to report so let’s get into the eats, shall we?!

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I haven’t been sleeping great (although melatonin has been a HUGE help) so I opted for extra sleep instead of the gym. Slurped down a smoothie at my desk before I remembered to snap a pic. Oops! Today’s flavor was pumpkin with lotssss of cinnamon. So yum!

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Switched up the typical scarf-down-food-while-working routine and went to lunch with a friend! We went to Two Dollar Radio’s new headquarters and were both obsessed! I had been there before but am still in love with their book selection, all-vegan coffee, cafe, and bar, and just general chill vibe. Our lunches were FANTASTIC! My sandwich was the “Bad Hombre”- corn + kale burger, barbecue sauce, pimento cheese, sliced red onion, jalapenos, on locally-made ciabatta. It was TO DIEEE FOR. My friend got the “Vegan Lunchpail”- chorizo, house mozzarella, jalapenos, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, tomato, lemon pepper aioli, hot sauce, on locally-made sourdough and was equally thrilled. If you’re in the Columbus area, I can’t recommend this place enough!

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

My lunch was soooo filling so it was a rare no snack day! Gasp! John was starving when I got home so I had a small bowl of chili and a few bites of his organic tater tots. [Lol- never thought I’d say the words “organic tater tots”…]

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

We bought a shiz ton of these mini bags of pretzels but sadly, only had two trick or treaters! Oh well, more for me to snack on while finishing Stranger Things muahahaha…

What I Ate Wednesday | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I spotted these goofy-looking Moondrop grapes at the store this weekend and HAD to have them. Good news- they’re also absolutely delish. Perfect for night time snacking.

And that’s it, friends! Have a wonderful first day of November!

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