Weekend re-cap (and blogger recipe inspirations!)

This was one of those weekends where I feel like time went by way too quickly, and I could really, really use another day. I hadn’t made any plans for the weekend, which was much needed because the next few are going to be super busy.

Saturday is typically a “rest” day for me, where I don’t exercise at the gym and do something active (but less intense) instead. Sometimes I do yoga, or hike, or, like this Saturday, take the dogs for a long walk. The weather was SO nice, I couldn’t resist! I made breakfast sandwiched for me and Greg using some bagel thins that I came across in the freezer (and burnt slightly). I put egg and a slice of ham and tomato in the middle.

This tasted okay, but was nowhere near filling, and I have no idea how some people could be satisfied with this alone for breakfast! (Plus, it’s only about 150 calories!). I figured that I just needed a little something in my tummy before heading out for our walk, and that I’d have a big smoothie when I got back home.

We took a nice 5 mile walk with the dogs and then headed south to Rockville for some shopping for various things. Our first stop was REI, and I was THRILLED to find Keen boots in black on clearance! They were still a boatload of money, but $50 less than the original price. I couldn’t pass them up.

Clearly, I should have a career in modeling. (This photo is also proof that I have absolutely no ass at all, and just a regular flat pancake instead. With all of the exercises I’ve tried to beef up my butt, I’ve just ended up with huge hamstrings instead.)

We also grabbed a quick lunch at Whole Foods (big shocker) before doing some shopping there.

Whole Foods has been doing Vitamix demos all month long- who knew! I was thrilled to be able to watch this guy for a few minutes.

He was making soup here. And I think he liked that I was snapping photos of him with my camera phone.

I need more bars about as much as I need a hole in my head, but I couldn’t resist all of these new ones that I saw:

I love Clif Z-bars, and this flavor sounded perfect! Can’t wait to try it. And I don’t generally buy Larabars, because they’re so small and super high calorie, but these are a little different. Plus, look at the flavors. Hello?! As for the Clif Mojo bar- no explanation necessary. I also think it’s under 200 calories and not ridiculously high in sugar, either.

While at Whole Foods, I grabbed a few ingredients that I needed for dinner. I had been thinking about this recipe for vegan sweet potato shepherd’s pie all week from Amanda’s blog and was so excited to make it! Her photos are incredible (they always are) and do a lot more justice to just how delicious this dish was!

I cut the recipe in half, and also added some green beans, lima beans and corn that I had leftover in the freezer from making Maryland crab soup last weekend.

I have to be honest- I wasn’t so sure about the flavor of this while it was cooking- but let me tell you- the final product was incredible.

I didn’t take the time to make the “peaks” pretty and just kind of slathered the mashed sweet potatoes on top, and then tried to add a little texture.

It was served alongside a mixed greens, tomato and goat cheese salad.

I could dive right into this head first. Again, my pathetic photos do no justice.

I’m even MORE happy that there were leftovers, and I can have them for lunch sometime this week! I loved this so much that I decided that it will be a dish that I’m taking to a potluck beer-pairing party that some friends are having next weekend.

Since Greg and I are party animals, we spent the rest of the night watching episodes of Parks & Recreation on Hulu Plus. I watched the first season of the show, and then forgot about it, but just rediscovered how funny it is!


On Sunday morning, Greg was out the door at 7 am (in the cold!) to go mountain biking. I snuggled with the pups until it was time for me to leave to go teach Spinning. It was really hard to leave this:

Eventually I got up and headed to the gym. I had planned on staying for Bodypump after Spinning but was still SO darn sore from my workout with Bob on Friday! (And today, I STILL AM!) Instead, I just focused on doing a really intense spin class- which was awesome! It was one of those classes that I left feeling a little taller and stronger- every now and then I just get a lot of energy and give myself a pat on the back for being such a passionate and challenging instructor. Plus, I love to see the determination on everyone’s faces in the class, and the pools of sweat the form under the bikes. 🙂

My breakfast Sunday was a lot more satisfying than Saturday’s:

I added some grilled bananas, peaches, peanuts, cinnamon sunflower butter, and coconut flakes to my bowl of oats. Yummmm.

I had to run a few errands locally, and then came back to the house to do a lot of cleaning, work stuff, and a little bit of baking.

First, I tackled the freezer. I am definitely not a big fan of the side-by-side freezer/fridge and desperately want a new one (with the two bottom freezer drawers). It’s on the list of “things I want for the home,” along with about a million other things. 🙂

Luckily, this didn’t take too long.

There was a lot of old stuff in there that needed to be thrown away- leftovers from months ago, juice concentrate that I had bought for a party we had in December 2010 (!), and some other freezer-burnt items. It was nice to take an inventory of exactly what we had, so that I could do some more effective menu planning.

Our top shelf is full of various frozen fruits, due to the massive smoothie consumption that occurs in our house. I keep my ice-cream maker container at the bottom- just in case I get the urge to make some ice cream, I’ll be ready! (I haven’t made ice cream since October.)

Part of the afternoon was also spent jumping on the chickpea-for-sweets bandwagon and making these cookies. I’ve been seeing dessert recipes all over the blogs that call for chickpeas as the primary ingredient, and making one of them has been on my “to-do” list for weeks! When I came across Christin’s blog and her chickpea recipe, I knew I had to try it out!

Again, I cut the recipe in half (and made 12 cookies) and subbed a few ingredients based on what I had on hand. I didn’t have peanut butter chips, so I used chocolate chips instead. I also didn’t have liquid stevia, and used powdered French Vanilla stevia. Annnnnnd I totally forgot to add salt. Oops!

I was also too lazy to grad out my food processor, and just mixed everything up in my Vitamix. And my chickpeas were a little bit under-cooked (they didn’t mash to the “right” consistency) and I think I added a little too much almond milk. The dough was a little too sticky and didn’t form into “balls” very well.

And a short while later I had this:

Again, I was a little skeptical. I tasted the cookie dough, and it wasn’t great. But, HOLY COW, the cooked dough was awesome! The cookies tasted great- not too sweet- and I really liked the addition of the peanuts for texture. Greg liked them a lot, too. I will definitely be making these again!

After dinner that night, I swapped out my normal dessert smoothie for a little bowl of banana-peanut ice cream (Frozen bananas + peanut flour blended together in the Vitamix) and some of the chickpea cookies.

Don’t let the picture fool you. I had two of those cookies. Okay, two and a half… but really- they’re packed with protein and have very, very little sugar. Practically guilt-free right?

One of the things that I love so much about all of the blogs that I read are how many amazing recipes I come across. Unfortunately, my list is so long right now, I need to stop adding to it for a while.

This week will be NUTS at work, and also includes a 15-hour day on Wednesday. I can’t wait for it to be over, and just hope to survive. Happy Monday, y’all!

What did you do this weekend? Have you come across any blogger’s recipes lately that you can’t stop raving about?

22 Comments on “Weekend re-cap (and blogger recipe inspirations!)”

  1. Hey Lauren! I’m stoked to see you made the cookies! Too much almond milk can definitely make the dough hard to handle and weirdly sticky (I’ll be sure to address that in better detail in future posts, thank you for that!), but I’m glad you were pleased with the end result. 🙂

  2. Amanda says:

    I love your additions to the shepherd’s pie. 🙂 I’m always a little nervous when anyone tries my recipes, so I’m thrilled that you were a fan.

    Sounds like a wonderful weekend!

  3. Hi Lauren. Doesn’t it feel good to clear out the fridge/freezer. I did that a couple of weeks ago, but was only brave enough to post the “after” picture on my blog. OMG…it was BAD! 🙂 Have a great week.

  4. Corrie Anne says:

    The sweet potato shepherd’s pie sounds amazing! I would definitely make that. I used all my energy up this weekend making a brunch for my in-laws. It was fun though. 🙂

  5. I’d much rather have the yummy bowl of oats than a little sandwich.

    The recipe tempting me right now are Sliceofmylyfe.wordpress cornmeal almond biscotti. They will get made this week by me, mark my words.

  6. The cookies look awesome!!

    NICE job on teaching that fabulous class–I bet they love you!!

    P.s. Check out my blog today–for a little bit of BodyPUMP love ❤ it may make you want to leave your desk chair RIGHT now and pump it out….just 'sayin!

  7. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes says:

    Sounds like an awesome weekend. Jealous of the boots! Sweet potato shepard’s pie is one of those things I’ve been saying I’m going to make forever and I think you motivated me to do it for real, lol.

  8. Gil says:

    Cute boots! I need something like that…and I have plenty of ass to spare…interested in a bartering negotiation?

  9. Where do you get your peanut flour? Once they discontinued it at Trader Joes, I can’t find it anywhere….

  10. Lee says:

    Oh, I’ve never seen that type of Larabar. I like Larabars, but I feel like they’re too small for the calories. If they were bigger, I’d be okay with it.

  11. I have seen all these recipes for chickpea cookies and blondies, I guess I’m going to have to try them 🙂 Glad you had a fantastic weekend! Hopefully this week doesn’t get too stressful.

  12. Tiffany says:

    I like you peanut flour creation, looks tasty and a healthy treat for nighttime! I would gladly give you some of my ass if I could, it belongs on a black girl and no matter what I do, I can’t get rid of it.

    So….is that WF the one off Rockville Pike? Look at me and my DC area knowledge! Oh yeah….Veggie Garden….LOVE that place! My friend lives in Silver Springs and she took me there when I was visiting. I want to visit again just so I can go there, their food was amazing!

  13. i’ve devoured 3 boxes of the iced oatmeal….DELICIOUS..and dangerous…how are the new lara bars?

  14. Sara R. says:

    I’m curious about the new Larabars too! I love how “clean” Larabars are, but they are calorific for the amount of protein you get. Have you had them yet?

  15. […] Lauren made her own version of the cookies the other day, I was reminded that I definitely wanted to address the level of […]

  16. […] I made this recipe for the first time last weekend, I knew that I wanted to share it at this dinner. I was originally thinking that I would pair it […]

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