Toddler-Friendly Foods: Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

FW is a picky eater. He won’t touch any vegetables or meat*, and there are even just a few fruits he enjoys. His favorite food groups are: bread, bananas, plain Greek yogurt and cheese.

FW does, however, LOVE muffins. And anything remotely sweet. So, I’ve been making a lot of muffins lately, and trying to hide in as many veggies as I can. These muffins are a go-to in our house. You could probably omit some of the honey if you wanted them even lower sugar, but each muffin has about 9 g. of sugar, which is less than is in most non-plain yogurts.

These are easy, a fun color, and I enjoy eating them too! Try them out for yourself. They’re also FW (aka picky eater)-approved ūüôā AND, with their bright green color, they’d be perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins
Makes 18-20 muffins

Here’s what you need:

  • 6 ounces raw spinach
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 cup milk (I’ve used unsweetened almond milk as well as whole milk, it depends on what I have on hand)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten (I’ve also used .25 c Egg Beaters)
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners, or use silicone muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray (I have green and pink ones which FW loves to eat out of, so that’s what I tend to use).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  3. In your blender or food processor (I put mine in my Vitamix), mix first 7 ingredients (spinach through butter) until completely pureed. Add in egg.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Mix together until just combined. Do not over-mix or muffins will be tough!
  5. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into muffins comes out clean.

Spinach, Zucchini and Carrot Muffins - i crashed the web - toddler friendly food and breakfast

*Confession – FW did eat some meat somewhat recently – I snuck some ham into (you guessed it) a corn muffin!

Some questions for you:

  • Any tips for picky eaters?
  • Any favorite lower sugar muffin recipe?

WIAW #23: Jury Duty.

Happy¬†What I Ate Wednesday! It’s my 23rd WIAW post and for those of you that know me know that 23 is my lucky number.¬†So of course this WIAW includes some of my favorite foods – cheese and froyo and candy ūüôā

I had jury duty this week so my eats were a little more controlled. Meaning I had to pack my own snacks unless I wanted to see what they had at the courthouse (note: Apparently the food at the courthouse was actually good. Oh well!)

Breakfast, instead of my usual egg whites (I didn’t think bringing those would be a good idea) or smoothie (I usually make this with the office Vitamix), I grabbed a big bag of frozen grapes. Only some of the grapes are pictured, below. Because let’s face it, I already ate half the grapes before I took a photo.

frozen grapes are SO GOOD!

frozen grapes are SO GOOD!

I had done some meal prep over the weekend and managed to make a few salads for B and me to take for lunches this week. You can’t see all the goodness in here, but it’s baby lettuce (my favorite!), arugula, tomato, roasted sweet potato and chicken.

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For snacks, I had made some peanut butter granola. Again, that’s about half of the granola I packed. I also packed some carrots.

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For dinner, I made some spicy Italian chicken burgers (these were bought at the West Side Market, I just cooked them) with some peppers and onions and a caprese quinoa salad (with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil). The meal tasted so summery to me – it was perfect!

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It was a beautiful evening, so B and I took a walk and got some froyo at a place not to far from our apartment. I LOVE frozen yogurt places – mainly for the toppings bar as you can see – and it is the first time we’ve gone all summer!

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That concluded my Monday. How did I do? Would you eat all of that too?

As always, click on the badge below to see what WIAW is all about.

Some questions for you:

  1. What do you get on your frozen yogurt? Anything and everything. I like a basic flavor and then toppings galore! I mixed few pieces of cheesecake bites, cookie dough bites, butterfingers, snickers and even boba and mochi. Oh, and of course one sour worm. Just because.
  2. What’s something great you ate this week?
  3. Have you ever had jury duty?

WIAW #19: Zoodles and Birthdays

Guess what day it is … that’s right – it’s¬†What I Ate Wednesday!¬†These were my eats from Monday. It included a new zoodle recipe and a birthday dinner (one of a few) with my friend/running bff¬†Nicole.

The day was also my first day of my training for the August half marathon I signed up for. I know – a half marathon, in August, sounds hot, humid and notsomuch fun. Oh well. I’m doing it! Anyway, day one was 3.5 miles so I tried to run them pretty fast (for me) and then finished with kettle bells and the elliptical. My post-run breakfast¬†was made for me by B! Egg whites with italian hot peppers, mixed veggies and spinach.

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For lunch, I had made myself a salad.¬†I made salads Sunday during some meal prep and also some quinoa salad so I mixed it all together. Topped with a Heinen’s flamegrilled veggie burger. YUM. No dressing this time.

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Snacks the day included a nectarine, strawberries, mixed nuts and carrots.

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For dinner, Nicole came over. It’s the start of her birthday week and she confessed to me that she has NEVER HAD ZOODLES. I know, right?! So in honor of her bday week we had plans to make pad thai zoodles for dinner. I snacked on some of those peanuts in the background before/after cooking too.

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For dessert, I finished a glass of red wine (yes, it’s leaning on B in this picture) and may have also had a peanut butter oatmeal M&M cookie. ¬†These cookies were REALLY good and I’ll definitely be making them again and sharing the recipe soon!

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That was it! That was my day. How did I do? Two questions for you:

  • Do you like oatmeal cookies? What do you put in them?
  • What’s your¬†go-to Thai or Vietnamese order?¬†Pad see mao or pad see ew for Thai, Pho or Bun or cabbage salads for Vietnamese!¬†

WIAW #18: Baseball and Basketball Games

Happy Wednesday Рare you ready for another What I Ate Wednesday? These were my eats from YESTERDAY. I tried to switch things up a little bit in my eats Рstarting with breakfast. For those of you who follow me on a regular basis, you know I typically eat egg whites and veggies in the morning РI started it with a little different food! Here we go:

The day started with a 5-ish mile run with Nicole around downtown! We made sure to run by the Q (Quicken Loans Arena) where the Cavs are playing in the NBA playoffs. There were already news stations parked downtown (ESPN, etc.) and the streets were alive and decorated. Before the run I had a spoonful of honey and some water.

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My post-run breakfast was a homemade yogurt parfait. I had leftover yogurt at work from our last week’s smoothie party – Dannon Light & Fit – which I mixed with some frozen berries, chia seeds and flaxseed. Yum!

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For lunch, I had made myself a salad. I typically have leftovers but I decided to give B the leftover stir fry for today and instead I had a salad with chickpeas, quinoa, a Heinen’s veggie burger, carrots, radishes and black beans. No dressing ¬†– I’m super picky about the dressing and didn’t have any homemade dressing available.

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Snacks the day included a nectarine, lots of herbal tea (my office was freezing!), some radishes, some mints and a handful of nuts. Nuts not pictured.

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B made me dinner Рsome whole wheat pasta with sausage from our CSA and sautéed zucchini and shallots. It was soo good and luckily I got home from work about 6:45 and we had time to eat before heading to the Indians game.

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We ended up spending the evening at the Indians game BEFORE watching the Cavs game so my after-dinner snack was a beer at the ballpark. I didn’t realize it was going to be this big and I admit I didn’t finish it all. I maybe should’ve gone for the ice cream ūüôā We enjoyed spending time in the ballpark watching the Indians (they lost :() but also spent time in the ballpark bar and watched the Cavs game – and watched the Cavs win!! What a perfect ending to a Tuesday … is it Friday yet?

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Hellllo ginormous beer

Me and Nicole at the Indians stadium bar watching the Cavs game

Me and Nicole at the Indians stadium bar watching the Cavs game

That was it! That was my day. How did I do? Two questions for you:

  • Who are you rooting for in the NBA Finals? Cavs? Oakland? Nobody?
  • What’s your favorite ballpark food?¬†If we hadn’t eaten dinner I would’ve gotten a pretzel or veggie burger. Or ice cream ūüôā¬†

WIAW #16: B Cooks For Me …

Surprise- not only is it National Running Day, but it’s also time to talk about another one of my favorite subjects – food! That’s right, it’s¬†¬†What I Ate Wednesday! These were my eats from YESTERDAY,¬†because that is when I remembered to take photos. I really need to start taking photos on a different day of the week.

Basically as I’m typing this, I realize how lucky I am. B makes me soooo much of my food. It’s not that I don’t enjoy cooking or don’t know how to cook – it’s frankly because some days I’m just too crazed to think about cooking/eating/etc. and B takes care of me. So not to be overly gushy, but I can’t help write this post without acknowledging that. Anyway,¬†breakfast included egg whites with hot peppers, spinach and frozen veggies. B made me the breakfast at home and I brought it into the office – and plated it – so I could eat this delicious meal at my desk.

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I also had a blueberry snack mid-morning.

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This week is our office’s Wellness Week so for lunch we had a salad bar potluck! Each person in our office contributed some ingredient for a salad and we made our own salads at lunch. BEST IDEA EVER. Check out my delicious salad- there’s feta cheese, blueberries, spinach, mixed greens, craisins, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, a few bites of chicken, chickpeas, carrots, cucumbers, and beans. No dressing – I’m weird like that. And served with an apple!

BEST SALAD.

BEST SALAD.

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Snacks the day included baby carrots, a nectarine and perrier, a handful of cashews and wintergreen mints.

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Dinner was great, as usual. I fully intended on making dinner but some client work popped up unexpectedly so after I started to chop up veggies, B took over. He made some pork from the West Side Market, cauliflower and broccoli.

pork cauliflower broccoli

Yum! I¬†was going to end the day with an Arctic Zero sundae, but I simply was too tired to do so.Yup, too tired for dessert … it doesn’t happen often, but it happens!

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have someone in your life that makes you meals when you’re short on time?
  • What are your favorite salad toppings?

WIAW #16: After the Holiday Weekend

Woohoo – it’s time for another¬†What I Ate Wednesday! These were my eats from YESTERDAY, the day after our three-day weekend. Do you find that after a somewhat gluttonous day (or three days) you start to crave healthier eats? I definitely was feeling it on Tuesday. After the weekend’s many meals out with my parents, drinks and Memorial Day celebration, I couldn’t wait to get back on track.¬†SO here are yesterday’s eats:

I started the day with a 4.86 mile run. I haven’t started training for my next half marathon; however, I decided I think I want to do the Runners World Running Streak so I knew I had to get outside and run. Of course I forgot to have my alarm with me so I almost slept in too late. Thank goodness my internal alarm woke me up anyway!

So breakfast included egg whites, spinach, frozen veggies and an apple. AND coffee. I still don’t drink it daily, but definitely needed it on this Monday Tuesday!

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For lunch, I had leftovers. While my family was in town, we went to the Willoughby Brewing Company and I had their salmon with quinoa/carrot/cabbage/brussels sprouts salad – leftovers of that plus leftover cauliflower from our Memorial Day get together were perfect!

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Snacks the day included another apple, a LOT of carrots (I had already eaten half the bag when I took the pic), some hard candy and some beef jerky. This kind is pretty good Рnot a bad texture for being in a bag and it has a great kick!

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Dinner was SOOOO good. I hadn’t had time to go to the West Side Market for groceries this weekend, but I happened to have enough random groceries on hand to make a really good, filling, meatless meal (B had the same thing but had leftover ribs from the Memorial Day BBQ with his). Here it is – a loaded baked sweet potato. I love this – it was a baked sweet potato topped with mashed avocado, mashed pinto beans that I saut√©ed with onions and garlic, tomato, corn and cilantro from our friends’ garden.

This is what my loaded potato looks like.

This is what my loaded potato looks like.

Yum! I ended the day feeling pretty good and somewhat back on track after the long weekend.

Two questions for you:

  • Favorite way to eat a sweet potato – sweet or savory?
  • What was¬†the best thing you ate during your holiday (or not-holiday) weekend?

WIAW #15: Another Meatless Monday

Happy¬†What I Ate Wednesday! These were my eats from this past Monday, which was the day after the Cleveland half marathon and for some reason I was STARVING that day. I managed to be busy at work/etc. so I didn’t have as much time for snackage as I would’ve liked. But let me tell you. Starving.

It was the day after the race, so I kept it easy with my workout – a reallllly easy slow elliptical workout and then a walk on the treadmill to get my legs moving. Boy, my quads were tight! I¬†was hungry by the time I got in around 8. I scarfed down the breakfast that B had made for me – and guess what – it’s different than last week! NO egg whites in our house (sad face :() but instead a veggie burger, spinach and frozen veggies. I also had a clementine.

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For lunch, we went out to celebrate our new intern’s first day. I got a miso soup and salad.

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Okay, I was snacking that day …

Some baby carrots (here’s the empty bag … I already ate them, whoops!)

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An apple … (check out my race nails from the expo!)

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And some cashews and sweet/salty pecans…these are soooo good!

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Dinner was SOOOO good. I made some vegetarian curry with zucchini, chickpeas, peppers and onions and green curry.

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And a Tagalong and Arctic Zero for dessert

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Two questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite veggie burger – any good store-bought brand recmomendations?
  • Favorite Girl Scout cookie? Tagalongs or Do-Si-Dos!

 

WIAW #14 : Salty OR Sweet?

Happy¬†What I Ate Wednesday! I completely forgot to log my eats this week until YESTERDAY. I don’t know what got into me – I’m tapering for my half marathon this Sunday and busy with a work event on Saturday so the weeks have been flying by and before I know it, I’ve gone a whole day without food pictures. Sadness, I know. ¬†Thankfully I somehow remembered to take SOME¬†pictures yesterday (sorry half-eaten breakfast). ¬†

 

I did a 30 minute tempo run on the treadmill before work and was hungry by the time I got in around 8. I scarfed down the breakfast that B had made for me – egg whites, spinach and frozen veggies. Yup, the usual. Except this time I realized I forgot to take a picture until mid-way through. Apparently I ate those veggies fast! Oh and this time there were hot peppers in the eggs – yum!

Mostly eaten breakfast ..

Mostly eaten breakfast ..

At around 9 a.m., I was still hungry so I ate this clementine. Again, I had a few slices before remembering to photograph it. #whereismybrain

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For lunch, I had leftovers- 3 leftover meals actually. 1/4 a veggie burger from Flip/Side, a few bites of Chipotle and mostly leftover sweet potato zucchini hash. All together, looks like this:

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(Monday night’s dinner- for reference- it looked a lot better – here was it last night with an egg:)

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And a side of radishes finely sliced that B sliced for me. Yup, he even cuts my radishes.

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For snacks during the day I had some carrots and a sweet and salty bar and an apple.

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Do you like sweet or salty things? I’m such a both lover – I love kettle corn, chocolate covered pretzels, salted caramel, etc. So those sweet and salty bars are SO good sometimes!

B made me dinner, too! I didn’t realize that he basically made all my meals yesterday until writing this post … whoops! At least I made us dinner last night? We had an amazing tuna with broccoli and asparagus. SO SO SO good.

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I decided to make myself a sweet concoction for dessert Рintroducing Arctic Zero, PB2 and peanut butter, white and dark chocolate chips and candied ginger. I reallllly enjoyed it.

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Two questions for you:

  • Sweet? Salty? Or both?
  • Do you make most of your meals or does someone else (or a restaurant) prepare them?

 

 

WIAW #13 : A fully meatless Monday!

It’s time for my lucky #13¬†What I Ate Wednesday¬†post.¬†I’m really so hooked on WIAWs now – I can’t stop reading everyone’s blog posts, viewing the photos (most of which are waaay better than mine) AND getting new ideas on what to eat. Are you interested in joining the fun or checking it out?¬†

This is my Monday eats – and it was a Meatless Monday! One of these days I’ll do an actual Wednesday or a weekend, but alas, weekends sometimes the blog is so far from my mind (as is documenting my glorious eats) but as soon as Monday rolls around it is back to business.

So here we go. Welcome to my Monday!

Breakfast, along with coffee (I needed it!) was egg whites with hot pepper, made by B of course. With spinach and frozen veggies.

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I had gone for a 6 mile run with Nicole in the morning and I was parched. So in addition to my usual lemon water and Crystal Light, I had a Nooma. Delicious! (Disclosure – Nooma sent me some to review as I train for the Cleveland Half Marathon. I would be drinking it even if they hadn’t sent it- ¬†I’m hooked!)

I match!

I match!

All of a sudden it was lunchtime. My froworker, Wendy and I, made a quick stop to Hingetown during lunch Рshe picked up lunch and I (had brought my lunch) picked up some homemade Ginger Kombucha from the Cleveland Tea Revival. Yes, I have a new favorite kombucha!

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I drank it all afternoon, including with my lunch. A delicious and colorful salad that I had made. Arugula, lentils and roasted cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato and eggplant. And some hearts of palm. I looove hearts of palm!

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Snacks during the day included some carrots. Surprise, surprise.

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And some raw cauliflower dipped in Frank’s Red Hot. Don’t question it – just try it.

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And a late afternoon sweet tooth snack of some homemade granola. I forgot to take a picture of the bag, but here’s what it looked like when I cooked it:

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For dinner, I made some zoodles with a spicy peanut sauce. I pretty much mixed up 4 or 5 recipes and it came out GREAT! I’ll be sharing it for an upcoming Meatless Monday blog post.

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Dessert included a butterscotch cookie I had made AND some chocolate covered fruit that B had made me. That’s right – B made me some chocolate covered fruit! Our 4th anniversary was last week and the traditional fourth anniversary gift is fruit (and flowers!) and he stayed up one night while I was sleeping making me chocolate covered strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. #lucky

ate half before photographing ...

ate half before photographing …

Also ate half the blueberries before photographing ..

Also ate half the blueberries before photographing ..

Perfect end to a delicious day!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever had covered in chocolate?¬†I tried chocolate covered dried¬†pineapple once and liked it – along with chocolate covered fritos!¬†
  • Carnivores – do you ever have meatless days?

 

WIAW #12 : Donut Day!

I can’t believe I’m already on my 12th¬†What I Ate Wednesday¬†post. It seems like yesterday was just my first one and now I love them. I just LOOOVE seeing what everyone is eating, getting inspired for some new eats, and documenting my own.

This WIAW features last Thursday actually. Why? It was a busy day. I worked late, didn’t have time to make dinner, and ate a dinner that B made for me and left out while he was at volleyball. But it ended up with some dessert – ¬†woohooo! Because that’s how my Thursday¬†was. ¬†

 

I did about 55 minutes of the elliptical before work and was hungry by the time I got in around 8. I scarfed down the breakfast that B had made for me – egg whites and frozen veggies. Yup, the usual.

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At around 9 a.m., all of these GLORIOUS donuts arrived in the office. I have a confession – I’m not a huge donut fan. I do love some apple fritters, however. Anyway, someone ended up cutting one of the glazed ones in half and then in quarters so I had a quarter of one. The picture of the quarter donut didn’t look as good – so instead, look at ALL THOSE AMAZING DONUTS.

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For lunch, I hadn’t had time to make anything (again, busy day), so I grabbed something from my freezer. Surprise! It was some black bean butternut squash chili I had made (recipe here). It was so good. ¬†Better than it looks, I promise!

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With my chili, I had a clementine and half a bottle of the Gingerade Kombucha. This is my favorite kombucha flavor so far – so yummy!

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And a side of radishes finely sliced. I love these. I need to buy them again.

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For snacks during the day I had some carrots and unsalted cashews.20150422_154904

I ended up having to work pretty late, so I had a protein shake also around 5-ish, knowing I wouldn’t be home for dinner for a few hours. Gotta love the Biotrust low carb vanilla! #ShakeSelfie Oh and LOVE that it’s light out so late now!

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B made me dinner even though we didn’t get to eat together! I got home to a plate of salmon, broccoli, shallots and boo chou. It was SO good and I even had some leftovers for the next day.

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I decided to make myself a sweet concoction for dessert – introducing Arctic Zero, PB2 and peanut butter, honey, white chocolate chips and a few peanuts. I reallllly enjoyed it.

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Some questions for you:

  • Have you made any Arctic Zero sundaes? I want to know!
  • What’s your favorite donut? Do you prefer old fashioned or the new ones I see everywhere now with fun toppings?