Homemade Larabars

Being back in classes has been a huge adjustment. I’m used to the usual three-month summer break between school years, but I just went nine months without being in school. While it’s really nice to have three hours in the middle of the day to do nothing, I’m also up way later than usual doing homework (so much homework…) and getting organized for the next day.

A few things that have been keeping me going and making my transition easier:

1. Candles. I have so many soy candles in my room and I am obsessed with them! I burn them all the time and they really help calm me down when I’m super stressed out. My current favorites? A coconut lime candle that I got from Mark, and a macadamia nut one from my mom!

2. TONS of water. I have been drinking about 12 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. I don’t drink coffee and I try to only drink tea when I really need it, so water is what wakes me up and keeps me energized! In the morning, I’ll usually squeeze half a lemon into my water bottle, and after lunch I’ll either put sliced cucumber or fresh mint in for a little extra flavor!

3. To-Do Lists. I am  the queen of making lists (in case you couldn’t tell from this post…). Especially to-do lists! I’ve been taking blank printing paper and writing out huge to-do lists with everything I need to get done during each week… so helpful!

4. Chocolate Strawberry Shakes. Technically, this is a smoothie (and how I start most of my mornings…) but it tastes so indulgent and decadent that I like to think of it as a shake! I’ve been including frozen banana slices, frozen strawberries, chocolate almond milk, and vegan protein powder in mine!

5. Homemade Larabars:

Since I’m back in classes at Drexel, I needed some really easy snacks (that I wouldn’t get bored with) to take with me to my classes. Last weekend, I made OhSheGlows’ Dark Chocolate Cherry Bites without the chocolate chips, as well as her chia crackers. Once I realized just how easy Larabar-type breakfast bars are to make, I was on a huge bar-making kick!

These keep me full for hours and on top of that, are SO delicious! I have two varieties for you… I would suggest making both 😉

Coconut Cream Pie Breakfast Bars

inspired by OhSheGlows’ Dark Chocolate Cherry Bites & Larabars

Ingredients:

  • 8 Pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1/2 C Unsweeted Shredded Coconut
  • 3/4 C Raw Almonds
  • 1/4 C Raw Cashews
  • 3 tsp (solid) Coconut Oil

In a food processor, process the almonds until completely chopped. You do not, however, want it to be an almond meal.

It is ok if a few larger chunks remain. Once chopped, add the cashews and the dates, and process until completely combined. Add the coconut oil and process until a dough starts to form, about 1 minute. Spoon the mixture between two pieces of wax paper and roll out until the top is smooth and the mixture is at your desired thickness- I usually let mine be about half an inch thick.

Cut to desired size (mine are about half the size of actual Larabars).

Gingersnap Breakfast Bars

Inspired by OhSheGlows’ Dark Chocolate Cherry Bites & Larabars

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C Raw Almonds
  • 1/4 C Raw Pecans
  • 8 Pitted Medjool Dates
  • 1 heaping tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • tiny pinch of ground cloves

In a food processor, process the almonds and pecans until mostly chopped (again– do not let it become a floury meal). Add the dates and process until a dough forms. Finally, add in the spices and process for an additional 30 seconds.

Once again, spoon the mixture between two pieces of wax paper, roll out, and cut to desired thickness.

These bars give me lasting energy– enough to get through seven hours at the library 😉 Both varieties are pretty rich, but they’re a perfect pop of flavor to help wake me up early in the morning!  They’re so unbelievably easy to make and absolutely delicious!

Orange Ginger Tofu

So you may have noticed a few changes around here… I thought it was time to up my image 😉

I skipped the gym today, and while it makes me disappointed in myself, I really needed the break. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that it’s not even nine pm yet. Foregoing the gym meant one very important thing– I had tons of time to cook!

My hypochondriac grandmother has a saying for when you don’t feel well but can’t quite put your finger on what’s ailing you: an undercurrent.

Though when this word is normally used, it’s coming from a place of craziness, today it is the only way to describe how I’m feeling. My throat doesn’t hurt, my nose isn’t running, I just feel like I’m coming down with something. Cue the citrus fruits! What better way to incorporate that all-important OJ into my dinner than a marinade?

Orange Ginger Tofu with Orzo, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Squash, and  Onion

makes two servings

Ingredients:

1/2 a Block of Extra Firm Tofu

1/4 C Orange Juice

1 tsp Ground Ginger

1/8 tsp Garlic Powder

1/8 tsp Onion Powder

4 Brussels Sprouts

3/4 C Orzo

1 C Raw Spinach

1/4 of an Onion

1/2 a Yellow Squash

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper

Slice Tofu into four 1/4 inch slices and press for 20 minutes.

While the tofu is pressing, make your marinade. Combine orange juice, ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder, and mix well with a fork until murky and no clumps remain.

Marinate tofu for half an hour. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a baking sheet. Cook orzo according to package instructions. In a frying pan, heat olive oil. Cut brussels sprouts in half, chopping off the ends.

Cook on low heat, covered, watching carefully for 8 minutes, until browned on flat side. Add chopped onion and squash, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add spinach, cover, and turn off heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Bake tofu for 25 minutes at 375, then flip, pour extra marinade on, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more. Tofu should be lightly browned and slightly crispy.

Once done, pile a plate with orzo, vegetables, and tofu, and drizzle with any leftover marinade.

This is a really light meal, perfect for when your appetite is curbed by an “undercurrent” (or just one too many mango smoothies 😉 )