February Favorites: eats + reads

This month has FLOWN by.. anyone else feel that way?? Here are some of my favorite food and books from this month: Side note: A least favorite this month was the head cold I had for almost 2 weeks... womp.. wash your hands friends!!!

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1. VALENTINES CHOCOLATE ALMOND BUTTER BALLS: I used this recipe pretty much from a favorite blogger. I substituted almond butter for the peanut butter though! I love eating food I made that doesn't have junk in it and is super delicious! (also known as 'buck eyes')

2. EASIEST CHOCOLATES EVER: 1 cup of Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, (allergy free! dairy, soy, gluten) melt it + add 2 tsp. of coconut oil, then pour it into molds + refrigerate until hardened... I happened to get this one at IKEA! Delicious, easy + cute! 

3. LONG OBEDIENCE IN THE SAME DIRECTION: (Eugene Peterson) Amazing book on being a Christ follower in todays "instant" society. It is based on the Psalm of Ascents, each Psalm focusing on an aspect of life or value.. Hope, Happiness, Humilty, Obedience, Work, Community... etc. A great combination of observing scripture + then applying it to our lives for the LONG haul. I love that this book is titled after atheist Friedrich Nietzsche's quote: 

"The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living."

4: MARGIN: (Richard A. Swenson, M.D.) This book has been kicking me and Thomas' backsides about being over-loaded. It is packed with info about how our society has lost MARGIN. We are so planned + scheduled there is no time to breathe between running here to there. It breaks down how 'progress' has been a blessing and a curse... a curse mainly to having margin in our lives financially, spitritually, physically + emotionally!  I'm almost done with this + might just read it again... 

5: SPAGHETTI SQUASH with SAUCE: I love eating squash instead of noodles- I love that its a bit crunchier (depending on how long you cook it), tastes SO good, and is filling especially with the sauce: 1 lb. ground beef, puree plum tomatos, 1 can tomato paste, season to taste with basil/ italian spices, minced garlic,.. this one is so simple its hard to mess up! Or just BUY a good sauce :) Here are different ways to cook the squash. I did it the fastest! Cut squash in half lengthwise, 7 minutes in the microwave per half, flat side down on a plate that has just a bit of water on it, scrape with a fork the flesh onto plates. Save left over squash- Re-heats surprisingly well!!

6. SWEET POTATO VEGAN KALE SOUP: This soup has one of my new fave ingredients in it: Nutritional yeast.. Whats that? It honesstly looks like fish food flakes. It's packed full of B Vitamins and Vegans eat it to get those vitiamins and extra protein. It makes things taste cheesy and nutty! You can make 'fake' cheese sauces with it which I recently did over broccoli.. yum. I hate how dairy makes me feel so this has been great to make things creamier! Great winter food!

7: PALEO BREAD (pictured with hummus spread and cucumbers): I was reccommended this recipe by a co-worker. I have never, ever eaten plantains so I was interested to check them out! Quick referece: All you need is 1 plantain, 2 eggs + mix, then bake @ 350 degrees! Its pretty thin depending on what you bake it in- but its great for healthy lunches + snacks! Not going to blow your mind with its deliciousness but it will replace bread if you dont spend $$ on loaves of gluten free bread but want a substitute or some good carbs!