sweet and savory [two recipes]

Hello my loves!

I hope everyone is having a great week. I come to you today with some fun new recipes. Yes I said recipes. I know I have been slacking in that department lately, but my cooking lately has basically been throwing random things together and calling it breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But with that being said I am trying to create new and different things. Basically because I was getting bored with my same ole meals I had been having. Yes I am a creature of ruts and convenience, but this girl needs some variety!

So I have a a little sweet and a little savory to share.

First the sweet! A new breakfast for me.

Nothing too new and nothing too fancy, but those are the best sometimes.

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Banana Protein Pancake

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I see protein pancakes all over Instagram and always want to make them, but honestly, I have never been a huge pancake person.

I mean don’t get me wrong, the impressive pancakes stacks people post get me drooling.

I finally decided to cave in and started with a pretty simple pancake recipe.

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Ingredients

(serves 1)

– 1/2 banana (mashed)

– 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used Growing Naturals Pea Protein – Vanilla Blast)

– 1 tbsp coconut flour

– 1/3 cup liquid egg whites

– 1 tsp ground flax seed

– 1/2 tsp baking powder

– cinnamon and vanilla stevia to taste

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Directions:

– Blend all ingredients together – allow batter to sit for a few minutes

– Cook on heated skillet over medium heat for approximately 2 minutes per side

– Top with desired toppings

I topped mine with a lemon spiked greek yogurt, trail mix and coconut chips.

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I loved the banana in this pancake and since I love the Growing Naturals pea protein so much, the combination was pretty much meant to be in my opinion. Am I a pancake convert? Jury is still out, but this was definitely a nice switch up!

Next up is the savory.

Since I have nixed the sandwiches for lunch I have been having a lot more salads. Salads can be boring, but they don’t have to be!

I made this delish little combination to help me get some protein into my salads and also add some more flavor!

This can be used as a side dish, a dip for chips or a topping for a salad!

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Balsamic Black Bean Salad

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Ingredients

– 1 can drained and rinsed black beans (can use kidney, garbanzo, pinto or a combination)

– 1/2 red onion – diced

– 1 red/yellow/green pepper – diced

– 2 cloves garlic – minced

– 4-5 cherry tomatoes – chopped

– 1 handful cilantro

– 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

– 1/2 tsp chili powder

– 1/2 tsp paprika

– Optional red chili flakes

– salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

– Prep first 5 ingredients and combine in a large bowl.

– Whisk together remaining ingredients to make marinade and pour over bean mixture

– Serve immediately or store in fridge to allow flavors to blend and marinate.

Can be served warm or chilled.

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I tend to think that these types of dishes taste better after allowing the flavors to marinate, the longer the better!

As mentioned I used this on top of my salads, it’s a great way to not only add protein to the salad, but I also didn’t need to use any dressing due to all the flavor in the bean salad.

It also makes an amazing chip dip as well!

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This black bean salad really has endless uses, Matt also used it on top of nachos one night! With that being said it would be a great taco or burrito filling! Or really a spoonful straight from the container works too!

I loved the slight spiciness of this salad and it gave me the idea to make a sweeter version of it by adding fruit…

So be on the look out for more fun creations and variations.

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What’s your favorite breakfast food?

Do you prefer sweet or spicy?

cinnamon flax seed wraps

Hey loves! I hope your week is treating you well.

Even though it’s only been two days, mine has been a bit challenging.

I don’t talk much about diets on the blog because, well I don’t follow one.

I don’t label myself as a vegan, vegetarian, paleo etc.  I actually don’t believe in labels. What I believe in is eating a whole food, healthy, balanced diet. So if one day I want ice cream, pizza, cookies… I’ll have them. If one day I crave fruit and vegetables… I’ll have them.

Yes I try to lead an overall healthy lifestyle, but to me a healthy lifestyle is balance, honoring our bodies and listening to our cravings.  Never restricting.

With that being said, this is why my week has been a bit challenging.

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I have been having a lot of issues lately with bloating, gas and stomach discomfort. It has kind of always been there, but as of lately it was getting worse. I discussed all my symptoms with my nutritionist and she suggested a few things that she thought could be the issue.

Gluten Intolerance.

Dairy Intolerance.

Or FODMAP sensitivities.

Awesome. Because guess what. I love bread. I love dairy. I love FODMAP containing fruits and vegetables.

(Not sure what FODMAP’s are? Check out this great post for more information)

So what’s a girl to do?

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Experiment and see if she can find the answer.

So that’s what I’m doing.

I can’t say I’m doing a extremely strict elimination diet, but I am making a very big effort to cut most gluten out of my diet and watch my dairy and FODMAP containing foods consumption.

It’s hard. I’m not going to lie.

However, Matt was very supportive and took me shopping which got me kind of excited about having to make the effort to make new meals.

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So I stocked up on some gluten free goodies and of course took to Pinterest to find some gluten free recipes.

One of the first things I looked for was some sort of wrap/tortilla. (this was before I purchased the brown rice tortillas)

I wanted something simple, and found a great idea for a flax seed wrap. I of course tweaked it and made it my own and was pleasantly surprised how well they turned out!

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 Cinnamon Flax Wraps

(paleo and gluten free)

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Ingredients

– 2 tbsp ground flax seed

– 8 tbsp liquid egg whites

– 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

– 5-7 drops liquid stevia (optional)

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Directions:

– Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes until mixture is thick

– Heat a greased pan with coconut oil (or spray)

– Pour batter in pan and swirl mixture to cook like crepes/pancakes

– Fill with whatever fillings you desire

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I filled mine with Plant Fusion Phood Chocolate Caramel protein frosting and frozen banana’s and then drizzled it with Click Mocha protein.

I made my wraps the night before and stored them in the fridge overnight which I think helped them stay pretty pliable and didn’t break when folded.

I think I may make a bigger batch of these to have ready when my wrap cravings kick in.

I really am liking trying to find more unique ways to cure my bread cravings and after trying a few gluten free products, I am more determined to just make my own. Not only are gluten free products twice as expensive as regular products, some of them just flat out don’t taste good. Also it’s just more fun to make your own and experiment!

 Hopefully I don’t have a full out gluten, dairy or FODMAP intolerance, but until this elimination diet is over, I’ll be making some changes.

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Are you gluten or dairy intolerant?

How did you find out? How do you avoid it?


coconut mocha energy bites

Ohhh Wednesday.
What a tease. Not quite the beginning of the week, but not yet the end.

However, I have been so tired lately it really doesn’t matter day of the week it is. I’m still tired regardless.

So what’s a girl to do when she has no energy?

Make protein energy bites of course!

And thankfully I have my favorite protein powders there to help the cause.

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Coconut Mocha Energy Bites

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Ingredients:

– 102g combined Drink Click Mocha protein powder + Growing Naturals chocolate rice protein powder (or proteins of choice)

– 3/4 cup almond flour

– 2 tbsp banana flour (or coconut flour)

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 2 tbsp coconut butter (I used Sweet Spreads Vanilla Cupcake)

– 1 tbsp honey

– 15-20 drops coconut stevia

1/4 cup vanilla almond milk (or coconut milk)

– more protein powder or cocoa powder for dusting

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Directions:

– Whisk together dry ingredients until there are no lumps

– Add in your wet ingredients

– Mix until well incorporated and dough is formed

– Roll into desired sized balls

– Roll balls in protein powder or cocoa powder (or other desired toppings)

– Store in sealed tupperware in refrigerator

Makes approximately 18-20 balls depending on size

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These make a great pre or post work out snack. I sometimes grab a few while heading out the door to work before I have my actual breakfast. I love using the Click protein as it has the added caffeine for a nice energy boost. And I love the mocha flavor in the bites themselves.

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And let’s be honest, I need all the energy help I can get.

So loves, if you find yourself needing some help in the energy department as well, these little bites might be the answer.

Or at least help a little bit, and if not, they at least taste delicious. So it’s really a win win situation.

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How do you stay energized through out the day?


all things guacamole

FRIDAY.

Luvs. I am exhausted. This week has been extremely long and tiring, and even though my weekend will be busy I am excited for it.

This weekend I am embarrassed excited to announce I will be a sci-fi nerd and will be attending the Phoenix Comicon. I’m not going to lie, I am basically going just to see Nathan Fillion and Bruce Campbell.  And if I happen to run into John Barrowman, I won’t be upset about it.

But you’re not here to listen to my sci-fi babble, you’re here for #strangebutgood eats.

Let’s all thank Laura for giving us the chance to share what may seem strange to others, but seem completely normal to us.

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Sprint 2 the Table

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This weeks theme seemed to be all things guacamole.

I can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. But this girl can’t be boring and do the whole normal chips and guacamole thing.

Nope. I add it to random, and maybe even strange combinations.

We all know my love for plantains. I can’t get enough of them.

It started with plantain bread.

Then sweet plantain chips.

Next was BBQ plantain chips.

And now I took it one step further.

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Ingredients:

– 1 large green plantain – peeled and cut in half length wise

– 2-3 tbsp guacamole

– 2-3 tbsp salsa of choice ( I used a spicy peach salsa)

– BBQ spices of choice (I use paprika, cayenne, and chili powder)

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Directions:

– Cut plantain in half length wise.

– Sprinkle with BBQ seasonings of choice.

– Bake in oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, flipping half way through.

– Once plantains are cooked top with guacamole and salsa.

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I loved the sweet and spicy flavors with this. And since I used a sweet/spicy salsa it made it that much better.

This pretty much sparked the guacamole obsession.

Which then sparked another obsession.

I would call them quesadilla’s, but really it’s just random things thrown into a tortilla and cooked on a skillet.

So whatever those are called. I’m hooked.

It started out kind of normal.

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Ingredients:

– 1 tortilla (I used Flatout Bread Multi Grain with Flax)

– 1 packet of tuna

– Taco seasonings (this time I used a pre-made mix)

– Onion and red/yellow bell peppers

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 Directions:

– Saute onions and bell peppers in a large skillet until onions are translucent – about 5 minutes.

– Add tuna and taco seasonings and cook for another 2-3 minutes – until warm.

– Remove filling from skillet and spray with cooking spray or drizzle with oil.

– When heated place tortilla on skillet and place fillings in tortilla. Fold over and cook on both sides until crispy.

I again served this with guacamole and salsa.

I couldn’t get enough.

Then when the craving didn’t subside, I made another, but even more EPIC.

(pun intended)

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This may look like just another random throw anything in a tortilla dish, and it kind of is, but with an amazing ingredient that just took it over the top.

Remember these?

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I loved these EPIC Bars so much that I placed another order for them as soon as I ran out of my samples.  And that says a lot for how good they were.

So while I was pondering over how to continue my guacamole/quesadilla obsession, I had a genius idea.

Add the EPIC bar as part of my fillings.

And it was seriously EPIC.

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With the added addition of Trader Joes spicy black bean dip, cream cheese and nutritional yeast (and don’t forget the guac) this was by far one of the most amazing quesadilla’s to date.

So yes loves. Lot’s of #stangebutgood combinations. But when they taste this good. Who’s to say what’s really strange and what’s just plain delicious.

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What are your current obsessions?

Do you ever just throw random things in a tortilla? What’s your strangest combination?

banana coconut protein pancakes

Ok loves, get excited. Because I am.

 I  have not one, but two delicious recipes to share with you.

I know I have mentioned numerous times that my cooking mojo has somewhat disappeared, but for some reason this weekend while Matt was still sleeping away, I decided to use that quiet time and cook.

And did it ever pay off.

I have always said I wasn’t a huge pancake fan. If you know me you know I love my waffles.

It just seemed every time I tried to make pancakes, they just didn’t turn out so stellar.

This may be because this protein powder queen always insisted on using protein powders in her recipes and wondering why things didn’t turn out fluffy and normal.

Well as much as I love cooking with protein powders, and have no intentions on stopping, sometimes you just have to go with common sense and do what works.

But before we get to that, I actually do have a recipe using protein powder that even though it wasn’t texturally normal, it sure did taste good.

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Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup chickpea flour (could sub gluten free flour, almond flour or oat flour)

– 2 tbsp oat flour

– 3 tbsp chocolate protein powder (I used Plant Fusion – Phood chocolate caramel)

– 1/4 tsp baking powder

– 1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree

– 3 tbsp liquid egg whites (or 1 large egg white)

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Directions:

– Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until well sifted.

– Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until there are no lumps. (batter will be thick)

– Heat skillet on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.

– Pour batter in batches and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

– Top with your choice of toppings.

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I topped mine with a Click mocha protein frosting, coconut shreds and a local granola mix.

Like I mentioned these were not your fluffy pancakes, they were a bit more “rubbery” as most of my protein baking tends to be, but the taste totally made up for that and I actually don’t mind that cakey texture.

If you’re looking for a more traditional pancake that is lower carb and high in protein, then this next recipe is for you.

As I mentioned in my last post, I recently discovered banana flour.

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In trying to think of what to use it in first, I thought it would be a great substitute for coconut flour, and I had been wanting to make a coconut flour pancake, so I decided to go with that!

In order to get it high protein without the powder I knew what I had to do.

Add eggs.

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Ingredients:

– 1 large egg

– 2 egg whites (or 6 tbsp liquid egg whites)

– 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (or milk of choice)

– 4 1/2 tbsp banana flour (could sub coconut or almond flour)

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– 1 tsp cinnamon

– 1 tsp vanilla extract

– 8-10 drops liquid coconut stevia (could sub vanilla or other sweetener of choice)

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 Directions:

– Place all ingredients in a magic bullet and blend until smooth.

– Heat skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.

– Pour batter in batches – cook for 3-4 minutes (or until bubbles form) on one side.

– Flip and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

– Top with whatever toppings you prefer!

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I topped mine with a coconut spiked greek yogurt and granola.

Guys. I can’t even describe how excited I was to make a fluffy pancake. Who would have known using eggs would cause this.

Oh wait. A lot of people.

Since I am not a huge egg fan, I don’t typically have eggs in the house, which is why I think I always try to find recipes that don’t use them, but I had a client give me fresh eggs from her own chickens, so I was looking for things to make with them.

I have a feeling the rest of the them will be going to making pancakes.

Because seriously. That fluff.

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The great thing about these recipes is it makes left overs. And I will say the banana coconut pancakes are excellent both warmed up and straight from the fridge!

So am I a total pancake convert? That is still to be decided.

But I think it’s safe to say there is room for both pancakes and waffles in my life.

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 Do you prefer pancakes or waffles?

Have you had a successful fluffy protein powder baking recipe?

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weekend regulars

Weekends are just too short, are they not?

Since I work Saturday’s, I really feel like I can never get anything done on my weekends. Because I am not going to lie, I am selfish and really just want to be lazy because I have such little time to actually be lazy. If that even makes sense.

However, by mid-day I am always itching to do something, it’s just not cleaning the house or being productive like I should be.

So instead non-productive things are done.

Like dinner and drinks at Whole Foods.

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I am obsessed with Whole Foods roasted brussel sprouts.

Like, it may be a problem…

A problem I’m ok with having.

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I also really like beer. We have visited our Whole Foods bar so often, we are now “regulars”. So much that I added one of our favorite servers on Instagram. Because I was a creeper and made sure she was in my beer shot photos.

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I will say I was a bit productive on Sunday.  While Matt was still sleeping away I took the opportunity to experiment a bit in the kitchen with a new product I had received.

Have you guy’s heard of banana flour? Yea, I didn’t even know it existed. And with my obsession with banana’s, in finding out about this glorious product, I just had to try it.

Guys, be sure to check back because I made an ah-mazing pancake recipe with it.

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And even though I am the queen of adding protein powder to everything, these are protein powder free!

But speaking of that… I did however make a pretty good chocolate pumpkin pancake with protein powder.

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I will be sharing both recipes very soon. So whatever your preference is, I have an option for both.

The textures of these are total opposites, but both tasted great in their own ways.

More random weekend happenings?

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Surprise! More beer!

Matt’s dodgeball league had their team draft, so of course I had to go and support him.

My beer may or may not have been overflowing.

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Surprise! More sushi!

We met a friend out for dinner and we almost always get sushi.

I’m not complaining.

Seriously, never get tired of this stuff.

Well loves, it’s late and I’m tired so I leave you with sushi porn and pancake teasers.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

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Do you take time to relax on the weekends?

Are you a regular anywhere?

 

making food pretty

I love pretty pictures of food. I think the countless hours I spend on Pinterest prove that. A recipe can be the most delicious dish, but with the addition of a beautifully posed picture of the finished product can seal the deal with me on if I will attempt to make it or not.

With that being said, I know I’m not the best photographer and my pictures may not be the best, but there is definitely not a lack of effort. But sometimes you just don’t have time.

This friends is one of those times.

But minus pretty pictures, I still have some pretty tasty things to share with you.

Let’s start simple.

We all know I am a bread loving carb girl. No shame. Bread, bagels, english muffins, I love them all. Ironically, even though not gluten free, I have found that some of my favorite store bought bread items are gluten free ones. We all know I have a huge obsession with Silver Hills Bakery Gluten Free Chia Chia bread.

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And my favorite english muffins are Rudi’s Multigrain with Flax. Obsessed.

Both products however are a bit on the pricey side, so in order to try and save a few bucks I have tried experimenting in creating my own.

So I spent a few minutes hours searching pinterest for a simple english muffin recipe. I’ll be honest, I’m a lazy baker and the less effort and time I have to put into making something the better. I also wanted to find a recipe that didn’t make a huge serving, because yes I know I could halve a recipe, I’m not so great with math and somehow always mess us measurements.

Lucky for me I found a simple recipe that even I couldn’t mess up.

The only thing I changed was I left out the blueberries and I made mine into two decent sized english muffins instead of bagels.

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Paleo Cinnamon English Muffins

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Ingredients:

– 2 eggs

– 1 tsp coconut oil

– 1 tbsp vanilla

– 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

– 3 tbsp coconut flour (sifted to avoid clumps)

– 1/2 tsp baking soda

– Additional add ins: raisins, dried fruit, nuts/seeds

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Directions:

– Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
– Mix the wet ingredients together.
– Add the dry ingredients to wet and mix well.
– Pour the mixture into two greased ramekins or muffin tin. (or a bagel pan to make bagels)
*Makes 2 large english muffins (or 3 small)
– Place in oven and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until fully cooked.

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I always have such a hard time when choosing my toppings. On one english muffin I did half chocolate coconut butter and on the other half almond butter and apricot jam.

For lunch another day I again couldn’t make up my mind.

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More chocolate coconut butter on one half and on the other half strawberry jam, cottage cheese and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Loves, these english muffins were a winner.

I will say they were a little bit too eggy for my personal preference, but I think next time I make them I will add more cinnamon and possibly some add ins to help mask the egg taste, but over all I was so pleased with the texture of these english muffins. Firm enough to be eaten cooled and also to be toasted.


 Next we have the perfect example of how pretty pictures make me want to make something, and how I fail to even do the dish any justice.

This picture will make you want to make this breakfast

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The very talented Ashley at Edible Perspective won me over to try this breakfast.

Raw Pumpkin Chia Pudding

(Inspired by Ashley)

Ingredients:

– 3 tablespoon chia seeds
– 1/2 cup pure pumpkin
– 1 cup water
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 2 teaspoon raw honey (I used pure maple syrup)
– 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
– pinch of ground cloves
– pinch of salt
*1/2 banana – optional – added in to blender (I added the banana)

This picture may or may not make you want to make this breakfast.

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Directions:

– Combine all ingredients and stir every 2-5 minutes for 20 minutes.I stirred mine probably once or twice to make sure it stayed incorporated and didn’t get too thick, then I let it sit over night. Add more water or milk if needed.
– If you want a smooth texture, add the mixture to your blender with 1/2 banana. You may also need to add more liquid.

To make this even more un-photogenic, I put mine in an almost empty peanut butter jar with a big glop of peanut butter slopped on the side.

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Pretty or not, both these recipes tasted great, which to me is all that matters.

So loves, my pictures may or may not make you want to try these recipes, but I really think you should.

Now I’m off to join Jenn for What I Ate Wednesday and take a few notes on photography. Because goodness that girl knows how to make food look good!


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Does a pretty picture make you more apt to try a new recipe?

Would an ugly picture deter you?

cinnamon pumpkin apple quesadilla

Haaaappppy Friday my loves.

Don’t ask why the extra chipper mood. I have no idea, but I’m going with it, because who doesn’t like to be happy?

Grumpy people.

But who can be grumpy when it’s Friday?

I guess grumpy people could be..

But anyways. Enough rambling. It’s Friday. Yay!

You know what happens on Friday?

#strangebutgood happens on Friday.

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Sprint 2 the Table

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Another reason to not be grumpy.

Because Laura gives us the chance to share some of our strange eats, which I love because it only gives me inspiration to create even stranger things.

This strange but good creation is an oldie but a goodie and I can’t believe it has been so long since I’ve made one of these bad boys.

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I use to be the queen of stuffing the most random things in a tortilla. But this one was one of my favorites.

Cinnamon Pumpkin Apple Quesadilla

(serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 1 tortilla (I used Ezekiel Brown Rice Tortillas)

– 1/2 cup pure pumpkin

– 1/2 thinly sliced apple

– cinnamon to taste

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Directions:

– Mix pumpkin and cinnamon and spread mixture on tortilla

– On half of tortilla layer apple slices

– Sprinkle more cinnamon on apples if desired

– Spray skillet with cooking spray and place tortilla on skillet

– Allow tortilla to get crispy then fold over

– Cut into triangles

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It’s almost dessert-esque, but can still be paired with a fresh salad for a dinner option. I dipped my quesadilla in Trader Joes pineapple salsa which gave it that sweet/savory combo. One of my favorites!

Other #strangebutgood things I’ve tossed in a tortilla?

Pumpkin + Pear

Pumpkin + Hummus

Chocolate Protein Pumpkin

I mean really the combinations are endless, you can put anything in a tortilla and call it a quesadilla.

So until my next strange concoction, have a great weekend loves!

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What’s the strangest thing you’ve made into a quesadilla/wrap?