Happy Monday!

At first I was bummed that it was raining today, but then I remembered with Spring comes rain. Hurry Spring! I have cute new clothes that are perfect for Spring time weather.

I wanted to start with a little weekend round up. Friday was a pretty solid day. The temperature was in the 60’s . Bryan and I had a little date night that evening, and took a walk down the the Lower East Side. One of our favorite places is Xi’an Famous Foods. A Chinese friend first brought us here and she says it is very authentic and traditional. We indulged and each got a lamb burger and split the cold noodles. It is really cheap, but super tasty and really spicy. Along with 2 bottles of water our total bill was less than $14.

Xi'an Liang Pi Cold Noodles

Then we stopped at 16 Handles for some fro-yo. Bryan made a ridiculous concoction as usual, and I got original with blackberries, walnuts, and a little coconut on top. ❤

Yum

We hit up the movies too. I had a fandango Living Social deal, where I got 2 movie tickets for $9 total. Awesome deal! That would have normally been $26. We saw Rango. It was between that and The Adjustment Bureau. Rango was meh. It was not awful, but I did get bored in the middle. All and all a pretty cheap, but great date night.

Rest of the weekend included some work at the lab and Oh She Glows’ Avocado Pasta. I used egg noodles instead because that’s what I had on hand. And finally a  trip to TRADER JOE’S! We haven’t been grocery shopping in 2 weeks and we got so much good stuff.

Amongst all our groceries I was really feeling the ingredients for some spreads. Three in particular.

1) Sunflower Nut Butter – I tried this for the first. And oh my have I been missing out! It may be better than peanut butter. Never thought those words would leave my mouth, but they did.

Ahhmazing!

2) Sweet Potato Spread – made this from the recipe in the Clean Eating cookbook. It was really good. Kind of like a sweet potato hummus. Can’t wait to put it on a sandwich or salad for lunch.

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 carrot
1 onion
1/2 c water
1 Tbsp tahini or natural unsalted almond butter
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Directions
1. In a saucepan, cover sweet potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are soft when pierced with a knife (about 30 minutes). Remove from saucepan. When cool, remove skin. 

2. While potatoes are cooking, peel carrot and onion, and chop into small pieces. Place in another saucepan and cover with a half cup of water. Simmer until soft, about eight minutes. 

3. Puree sweet potato in a food processor along with tahini or almond butter, curry powder, and ground cumin until just combined. Add carrot-onion mixture and puree until smooth. 

Nutrition Facts:
2Tbsp is a serving: 21 calories, .5g fat, .5g protein

 

3) Basic Hummus- since I had borrowed a neighbors food processor I decided to whip up some quick hummus too.

Ingredients:

1 can garbanzo beans

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup tahini

1/4 cup garbanzo bean juice

1/4 tsp paprika

1 large tsp garlic puree (roughly 2 -2 1/2 cloves)

Salt and Pepper

Bryan enjoyed it immediately stuffed in a TJ’s pita. I just licked the bowl clean. So simple, but so good. My mom taught me not to put olive oil in it so it doesn’t separate in the refrigerator. Instead drizzle some on top when serving.

As good as everything was I think the sweet potato spread stays out. After a little research, I found that the Center for Science in the Public Interest ranked sweet potatoes number one. Here is the nutritional break down for a sweet potato:

Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts (for one medium size sweet potato)

Calories 130
Fat 0.39 g
Protein 2.15 g
Net Carbs 31.56 g
Dietary Fiber 3.9 g
Calcium 28.6 mg
Sodium 16.9 mg
Potassium 265.2 mg
Folate 18.2 mcg
Vitamin C 29.51 mg
Vitamin A 26081.9 IU
Source: US Department of Agriculture

Sweet potatoes are of the starchy vegetable family, but you often find them on the good carbs list. Here is why – they have the lowest glycemic index rating of any root vegetable. Meaning sweet potatoes digest slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar and insulin, instead of a sudden spike, so you feel satisfied longer. Keeping insulin levels controlled helps prevent  type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Slow digesting carbs are also great for athletes because they provide a steady source of glucose to muscles.

Tomorrow, I am starting this routine I did a couple months ago from Muscle and Fitness Hers Magazine. It went well the first time, but now I’m hoping to set it up some. Fingers crossed!

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