the wise words of wednesday

I’m currently blogging from a Starbucks with a pile of notes in front of me and a half empty nonfat latte. It’s the week before finals. A week and a half before Christmas break. A week and a half until I’ve completed my first semester of grad school. Life is good.

eatlivethrive image

Have a wonderful day!


quinoa banana bread

It’s hard to believe that there are only three weeks left in the semester! I feel as though I just arrived in San Diego, but it already feels like home.

While I was in LA for Thanksgiving, this happened….

To say I was excited would be an understatement! I was also quite relieved to have the final confirmation that I did in fact graduate from college!

And now the recipe…

Quinoa is awesome. I eat it for breakfast with yogurt, berries, and a dash of cinnamon. I eat it for dinner on top of a salad with a drizzle of balsamic dressing and now I’m baking with it! Best source of grain-like protein!

This recipe incorporates cooked quinoa so it’s really easy to use any leftover from dinner!

quinoa banana bread
(makes one loaf)

  • 1 3/4 cup flour (1 cup white flour and 3/4 cup wheat)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • two ripe bananas
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cooled)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsalted buter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup fat free plain greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl combine the mashed banana, cooked quinoa, melted butter, egg, and greek yogurt.  Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet.

Pour into a greased loaf pan (I sprayed mine with PAM) and place into the oven.  Cook for about 55 minutes, but the amount of time could vary depending on your oven.  Check with a toothpick. The bread will be ready when the toothpick comes out clean when the toothpick is inserted into the middle of the loaf.






walnut potato dinner rolls

For the past couple of weeks I had been brainstorming and searching for a dinner roll recipe to bring to Thanksgiving.  I spotted this recipe on Jenna’s blog and just knew these would be perfect! The recipe turned out better than I expected (they usually do) and the leftovers were made into mini french toasts the next morning, per tradition! The rolls were better than any store bought rolls that’s for sure!

This is definitely an involved recipe, but well worth the time! Just have patience with the rising process and they’ll be done in no time at all. Sidenote: They smelled amazing. On the way to t-day dinner, the car began to smell like a bakery.

And just fyi: these rolls would not be regarded as healthy, but it’s about enjoying everything in moderation! 😀

walnut potato rolls (adapted from Jenna’s blog

  • one large white potato
  • two eggs
  • one package dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • one stick unsalted butter
  • one egg + 1 tbsp warm water for the egg wash


Preheat the oven to 375 and spread the walnut pieces thinly over a baking dish. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until golden brown and toasty.

Peel the potato and cut into chunks. Place into boiling water and cook for about twenty minutes until you can prick them with a fork easily. Drain the cooked potatoes and mash with a fork.

Let the potatoes cool slightly, then dissolve the dry yeast in the warm water. Add the two eggs and 1/3 cup sugar to the mashed potatoes. Then add the frothy yeast mixture and mix well to combine.

Add two cups of flour, salt and the walnuts to the potato mixture. Combine with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Place a towel over the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm spot (on top of the stove).

Beat the softened one stick of butter and the extra 1/3 cup sugar in a Kitchenaid mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add the dough and mix with the dough hook attachment. Slowly add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough forms a ball around the hook.

Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise again for 1 hour.

Prepare a baking dish (whatever size you prefer) by greasing it with butter. Form the dough into balls, about 40, and place them into the baking dish. Allow the rolls to rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the tops of the risen rolls with the egg/water mixture.

Bake for 35 minutes until golden.




One of the best things about going to graduate school in San Diego is being a mere 2 hours away from my family. I can hop in the car at a reasonable hour and get home in time for lunch, which is a nice change from the 6-7 hour drive from Santa Cruz!

Thanksgiving is hands down my favorite holiday. It’s not commercialized and emphasizes being with family and eating amazing, wholesome food. A Thanksgiving feast is the definition of comfort food.

I am so, so thankful to have an amazing, loving, and supportive family. I am thankful for my health, because after being a biology major, you learn very quickly that it’s an absolute miracle that our bodies work as well as they do. With that being said, I hope you used your body and ate tons of food!

Here’s a few photos from this year’s festivities!

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving as well! Now I’m off to see Skyfall 😀


sweet potato granola

I’m sure when you read the title of this post you were like “What? Sweet potato granola? I don’t even know what you’re talking about…” Well, I don’t even know either.  All I know is that I have a larger than large bag of sweet potatoes that needs to be used eventually.

I never like showing up to friends’ homes empty handed and since I was meeting up with my favorite ex-boss Lizzy, who is also a fellow foodie, I knew I wanted to bake! I decided granola is always a crowd pleaser and I wanted something that would make my apartment smell like fall. Done and done.

The granola, and Lizzy’s awesome ginger snaps, were the perfect post-hike snacks.  Enjoyed alongside fresh brewed coffee with hazelnut creamer.  Surprisingly enough, even in the 90 degree heat of San Diego, it felt like Fall for a few moments.

This recipe is fairly easy and the only real “time-consuming” prep was peeling, chopping, and steaming the sweet potatoes. Other than that, you just throw all the ingredients in a bowl, lay it out on a cookie sheet, and bake!

sweet potato granola

  • 2 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup raw, crushed almonds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray a large baking sheet with canola oil.

Mix the mashed sweet potato, unsweetened applesauce, agave nectar, vanilla, salt, and pumpkin pie space in a bowl. Mix the dry oats and almonds with the wet ingredients until everything is evenly coated.

Spread evenly onto the baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the edges of the granola are golden brown.  It will continue to crisp up after it is removed.

The granola was just barely sweet and would be perfect on top of some greek yogurt drizzled with honey!


Have a wonderful Monday!


whole wheat, cornmeal pancakes with cinnamon apples

I kinda have a thing for pancakes. Growing up my Dad would make an assortment of pancakes including buckwheat cakes, classic ones, and most memorable in my mind, cornmeal pancakes. Taking a few notes out of his book, I decided to create some similar ‘cakes.

Of course these pancakes have a few personal touches including globs of spiced pumpkin and cinnamon apples to add a few more nutrients! The highlight of the recipe is that it combines whole wheat flour and cornmeal to create a perfect pancake that tastes like a fluffy piece of cornbread.

whole wheat and cornmeal pancakes

serves one

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped apple (or any other fruit you desire)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Combine the dry and wet ingredients until smooth.

Heat a large skillet and spray with cooking spray as needed.  Pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter into the hot skillet.  Wait until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake before flipping.

For the apple and pumpkin topping, I combined the pumpkin puree with cinnamon and maple syrup.  I spread a layer of the puree onto the pancake stack and sprinkled the cinnamon apples over the top.  You can also pop the apples in the microwave to heat them quickly (microwaved apples is a favorite late night snack among my housemates and I).



pumpkin pie spiced almonds

A week ago I was writing about the weather cooling down in San Diego. I was itching to bake and pull out my scarves and boots. I spoke way too soon. Just last week it was in the high 80s and I could be found studying by the pool and acquiring a bit of a sunburn. Oh Southern California, how you amaze me with your freakishly good weather.

With that being said, I am very ready for cooler temps. I came home this weekend and am currently blogging while looking at an overcast sky. I’m going cycling this morning and, dare I say it, may have to pull out some leggings and a sweatshirt. So excited.

Last week I made some roasted almonds coated in a mix of agave nectar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and vanilla. They were really good. So good that I already ate the whole batch…

pumpkin spice almonds

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar (or maple syrup/honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 325.  Put one cup of almonds in a bowl and pour the dry ingredients right over the almonds.  Toss to coat.   Drizzle the agave and vanilla over the almonds and toss until completely coated.  Spray a cookie sheet with oil and place the almonds onto the sheet, evenly distributed.

Roast the almonds for about 15-20 minutes, flipping once, until they appear toasted.  Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.


To be entirely honest I kind of burnt this batch. They still tasted pumpkin-y though!