Bananas Foster Protein Shake with Trader Joe’s Bourbon Vanilla 

bananas foster
I’ve gotten really into lifting heavy weights lately. I’m finding that it’s making the most difference in shedding my baby weight.  Of course any weightlifting routine means an increase in protein, which can be problematic if you’re a vegetarian like myself. This shake is not only high in protein and vegan.  It’s the perfect pre-workout shake!

Recipe:

In a blender combine:

1.5 tsp. Trader Joe’s Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Ice

1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 scoop Trader Joe’s Vanilla Protein Powder

2 bananas


Blend it up and enjoy either before or after a hard workout!  I added a packet of Stevia to my shake because I have a sweet tooth, but it’s not necessary.  The Bourbon Vanilla tastes amazing in cookies and I used it in Adam’s Birthday cake icing.  It’s good stuff!

Delicious and Nutritious Israeli Tahini Smoothie

tahini shake

If you follow my Instagram, which I post on daily, you know I love smoothies!  My husband and I drink them daily.  Since it’s been a while since I shared a recipe with you I decided this smoothie has to be my next recipe for the blog.  It’s officially amazing and so good for you!

If you are not familiar with tahini it’s sesame paste that is used in several Middle Eastern dishes.  It comes very thick in the jar and can be thinned out with water or lemon juice.  It’s one of the main ingredients in hummus and is amazing as a dressing.  When we were in Israel last fall they were pouring it over their ice cream.  You can find tahini in most large supermarkets, I love the Organic Tahini from Trader Joe’s-it’s the best I’ve ever tasted.

This recipe calls for half a cup of Taster’s Choice coffee in the hazelnut flavor.  In the Middle East Nescafe and instant coffee are very popular.  My husband likes Taster’s Choice and for a change he’s been trying the hazelnut flavor.  I pre-brewed the coffee.  When making a smoothie start with the liquid ingredients first and then add the solid ingredients.  I make my smoothies in a Ninja every morning, but a blender works fine too.

The recipe for this is to simply blend:

ice

1 c. of unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1/2 c. of hazelnut Taster’s Choice coffee

1 tbsn. of tahini

2 bananas

2 packets of Stevia or a tbsn. of honey (agave or maple syrup would work too)

It’s a really great way to wake up in the morning.  You have a caffeine kick from the coffee, potassium from the banana, healthy fats from the tahini, and calcium from the almond milk.  It has a deeper taste than a traditional peanut butter and banana smoothie.  The hazelnut coffee mixes with the sesame flavor beautifully.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  I’ll be sure to share more recipes soon!

Tip:  To make the smoothie vegan omit the honey.

Easy and Beautiful Gluten-free, Vegan, and Kosher Gift Basket

For the holidays I struggled with the idea of what to get my parents this year. In years past when I was making a salary I could purchase them anything I wanted but this year was different as I’m a stay at home mom.   I figured DIY would be the way to go this year.  My dad just recently switched to a gluten-free diet. In my home we keep kosher and vegetarian. So as my parents were visiting I figured it would be a lovely hostess type presentation to give my dad a gluten- free gift basket that he could snack from while staying with me.

 

I started with this tin basket that I found at Michael’s. I got it for 40% off with my coupon which turned out to be a great deal. Then I went on to find some cute snowflake tin containers that I could put different food items and as well as snowflake treat bags.

I filled the gift tins and treat bags with nuts and a dried fruit. I included a bag of gluten-free pretzels and a bag of gluten-free granola. I found all of these items at Trader Joe’s.  If you go to their customer service they will print you out a list of all of their gluten-free items which is so incredibly helpful.

This turned out to be a really easy and useful gift for my dad. He didn’t have to go searching in my pantry for something to eat. He had plenty to eat while he was at my house despite all of the very different diets that we have in my home. This would make a great gift to anybody who’s visiting or staying with you. Also this would be a great teacher gift as it was fairly inexpensive and only took about 30 minutes to put together!  For shipping: I would recommend wrapping cellophane around it and tying some ribbon on top before putting it into the box so everything will stay pretty well in tact during the shipping. I also would recommend going with a lighter box, maybe even a wooden crate which they have plenty of at Michael’s and with that 40% off coupon it would be very inexpensive. You could also paint the crates different colors and match them with your tins!