Thursday Treats: vegan maple granola

Today I have a treat for all of you! I made homemade maple granola and it was way better than the granola I made a few weeks ago. It’s sweet, but not over powering and this recipe forms those wonderful granola clusters. I don’t know about you, but my favorite granolas have clusters rather than small little oat pieces, but maybe I’m just picky. 😛 Did I mention that it’s super duper easy to make too?  My boyfriend agrees that this granola is really good (but maybe my taste tester has to say that)! I hope all of you agree, though. 🙂

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vegan maple granola

This recipe was adapted from the Easy Homemade Granola recipe on page 13 of The Teen’s Vegetarian Cookbook by Judy Krizmanic. It’s easy to make, portable, tasty, and vegan. Try it on a peanut butter sandwich, with some almond milk, or even by the handful!

yield: approx. 12 servings

ingredients:

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup cashews

3 cups oatmeal

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar plus 1/2 cup water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup  raisins or other dried fruit if desired (added after baking)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 in glass baking pan or 2 cookie sheets.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the ingredients except for the raisins.

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3. Spread the mixture into the glass baking pan or on the 2 cookie sheets.

4, Bake for about 25 minutes or until the granola turns golden brown (It took me a little over 30 minutes when I used a 9×13 baking dish). Make sure to stir the granola as it is cooking.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Add raisins to the granola if desired and store in a Tupperware or other airtight container.

Running update

On a completely different note, I am back to pain free running! My darn IT band seems to be fine after a few runs in a row. FINALLY! Also, the strength/rehabilitation exercises I have been doing for the last month and a half are paying off as the right side of my body is feeling stronger. And maybe, just maybe I am starting to feel a little bit more flexible because I have been doing yoga a few times per week.  I still wouldn’t call myself flexible, but I am better than I used to be. 😉 Yesterday I went on a lovely, pain free run with my boyfriend and it was the furthest I have run since my half marathon in the beginning of June!

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Yes, 3.63 blissful miles was “far” for me, but not one twinge in the IT band so I’ll take it.This girl is happy to be running in general! I cannot wait to go back to running higher mileage and training for a race, but I know that I must go slow and be patient. I hoping to run a 10k or half in October or November, but for the time being my next mission is to try a 4 miler and a 4.5 miler.

Lollapalooza

The time is finally here! Tomorrow through Sunday I will be at Lollapalooza and I’m super pumped.  I cannot wait to see several of my favorite artists live as well as my sister and a friend from college I haven’t seen in a while. 🙂  This means I may not update this blog for a few days, but I’ll see what I can do.

The weekend is ALMOST here! Anyone have any exciting plans this weekend? 🙂

Sleepy Sunday

Good evening friends! I hope all of you have had awesome weekends so far. I personally can’t believe how fast this weekend has gone. :/ Today has been one of those days where I am super tired despite sleeping in. Even an afternoon iced coffee didn’t help! It must have been those late nights when my boyfriends roommate from college came to visit or the early morning yesterday to watch my boyfriend’s sister run in the Big Ten 10k. 😉 Oh well, I wouldn’t trade these past few days for more sleep, they were fun!

In terms of working out, I’ve been getting in a lot of cross training since my IT band hurt a bit after Wednesday’s run. Sometimes it feels like I take one step forward and ten back. 😦 I am trying to be positive, though, as it hasn’t hurt since Thursday so I’m excited to try a run again tomorrow!

Thursday

My boyfriend, his old roommate from college, and I went to the Cubs vs. Padre’s game on Thursday and I love the Cubs, but it was not pretty. We lost 13-3 and the atmosphere became considerably negative after that nine run 6th inning. Despite all of that it was still fun to go to my first Cub’s game this year. At least I knew going into the game Thursday that I would have another chance to see them play Sunday.

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We all also get a free T-shirts for being among the first 10,000 guests at Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, the shirt is an XL so not quite a good fit for someone short and small like me. :/ Regardless, it’s still a cool souvenir celebrating 100 years of Wrigley Field!

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After the game, my boyfriend and his old roommate went out for some drinks and “dude” time and I stayed behind to let them catch up and enjoy having the apartment to myself for a little bit. 😉

Friday

Thursday was a late night for all of us, especially the guys so I’m not going to lie, we spent the most of the afternoon watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix.  I did get in a cross training workout, went to the grocery store, read for a while, and went to another job interview so I wasn’t completely lazy all afternoon. 😛 After the job interview and some dinner we all met friend from our college who also lives in the city for drinks. We didn’t stay out too late though because my boyfriend and I knew were had to get up before six am to go to Soldier Field to watch his sister run the Big Ten 10k.

Saturday

It was rough to get up before six am on Saturday after a late Thursday night and semi late Friday night, but I am glad we did. It was nice to see my boyfriend’s mom, aunt, cousin, and sister. His sister ran really well and has a bright future ahead of her as a college runner! I couldn’t help but be a little envious of all the runners, but I know I need to be patient because soon enough I will be back to racing too. After the race my boyfriend and I made breakfast and said good bye to his old college roommate who had to drive back him. We were both pretty tired and spent most of the day reading, resting, and watching Netflix. Then had my favorite dinner-homemade black bean burgers (I posted the recipe a few weeks ago if anyone wants it: https://blackbeanqueen.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/all-moved-in-finally-tasty-tuesday-black-bean-burger-edition/). Then, I felt kind of lame on a Saturday night, but I fell asleep before midnight and slept until nearly ten today…It doesn’t happen often, but I still felt like a bum! I think those late nights earlier this week got to me. 😛

Sunday

Despite getting about ten hours of sleep I’ve been pretty sleepy all day. After sleeping in much later than intended, my boyfriend and I did not have enough time to get a workout in before the Cub’s game. :/ We had to eat breakfast, get ready, and catch a bus to Wrigley Field by noon so we could meet our friend from high school who invited us.

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This Cubs vs. Cardinals was closer than Thursday’s Cubs vs. Padres- the Cubs only lost 0-1. It was a fun game because the score was close the entire game and the weather was perfect! Now, we just have a low key evening filled with studying and maybe some Netflix, exciting stuff, right?! 😛 It really has been a sleepy Sunday.

This week I’m hoping to share some more vegetarian recipes with all of you and  get some pain free running in. 🙂

I’m also really excited because it’s my second to last week of summer class (almost done!) and I’m going to Lollapalooza with my sister, my boyfriend, a friend from college, and my boyfriend’s sister. 🙂

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What are you looking forward to the most this week?

Soulful Saturday: What songs I have on repeat

Don’t you just hate it when you have a song in your head and you can’t get it out of there? No matter how much you love that song it is also slowly driving you nuts…Well that’s what this post is about. I don’t just have one song in my head currently, I have at least five! I’m talking about those songs that you find yourself singing even when they are not playing live. The ones that pop into your head at random times such as when you are studying for a test or walking to the store. The songs you aren’t even sure you truly know all the lyrics to, but they are in your head nonetheless. Even during a run I can’t escape. I don’t even run with music, but lately I have a song or several on repeat in my head as I run. I think even my boyfriend knows what songs are in my head because I play them on my computer, ask him to play them, or I start singing them when we cook dinner or run together. I’m probably driving my boyfriend nuts with these songs too and we like most of the same music! 😛

Don’t get me wrong, I love the songs I am going to share with all of you-in fact I recommend them! Just beware or you might find yourself singing them in your head or out loud nonstop. 😉 I’m going to Lollapalooza in a few weeks and I made a playlist that has all of these songs (and many, many more). I’ve listened to that playlist a lot so it’s my own fault I have so many songs in my head. I hope you enjoy them nonetheless! Here’s the top five ones I can’t get out of my head right now.

1. Acceptable in the 80’s by Calvin Harris

2. Come Save me Jagwar Ma

3. Luna by Bombay Bicycle Club

4. Summetime by the Head and the Heart

5. Hypocrite by Cage the Elephant

What songs are currently in your head?