Cherries for days

Weekend Food, Fruit & Fitness

Good morning!

How was your weekend? I hope it was a good one. Over here, we spent the weekend relaxing, cleaning, working out, and eating. Pretty standard.

 

Friday night… was somewhat stormy in LA, so Andrew and I ordered Indian food to be delivered while watching Shark Tank.

Delivery Indian Food

 

Saturday… (late) morning, we made our way over to LA Fitness to workout while our memberships there are still active. Our post-gym brunch incorporated some Indian food leftovers. Fried eggs unsurprisingly go really well with garlic naan. And bacon goes well with everything.

Breakfast with Indian Food leftovers

 

Saturday night, we tried a new restaurant in Mar Vista, Status Kuo. Status Kuo calls itself a neighborhood rotisserie because it specializes in grilled meats but also offers several vegetarian options. We tried the fried  chicken and braised lamb bucatini, but also felt obligated to order the poutine because we hadn’t been able to find any mention (or pictures) of it on Status Kuo’s yelp page.

 

Status Kuo

 

My review: Status Kuo definitely delivers on the food front. The fried chicken was really good, and even though we were too full to eat much of the homemade pasta, what I did taste of it was delicious (and I’m looking forward to eating the rest of it tonight for dinner). The poutine was not bad… the fries were really good, and the cheese, while not authentic (cheese curds) was still good. Unfortunately, there were tons of mushrooms in the gravy, so that was a bummer for Andrew and I, but would probably be a plus for mushroom-lovers. The service at Status Kuo was on point; our waitress was super friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable. One important thing to note about Status Kuo is that they currently don’t have a liquor license, so no booze for now. But they’re working on that and hope to have one in the next 6 months. Check them out!

 

date night

 

Oh yeah, and that banana bread I mentioned in Friday’s post? It happened.

Banana bread

And was delicious with sunflower seed butter and crunchy cookie butter spread on top.

 

Sunday morning… Andrew and I woke up a little too excited for the farmers’ market. We had missed the past few weeks’ markets, and knew that peaches had started to come in. We had total Fruit FOMO, but more than made up for it by purchasing one (or more) of everything.

 

Pluots at the farmers market

 

Per usual, I learned some fun new fruit facts at the farmers’ market this weekend. This year’s cherry crop is going to have a very brief harvest period because of the recent rain and cold temperatures. The rain causes cherries to split open and sometimes fall onto the ground. Then, water has the potential to get inside the split cherries and grow mold. So if you’re a cherry fan, buy them now while you can!

 

cherries

 

Last night, we drove down to Irvine to have dinner with some friends who were visiting from out of town.

 

Irvine living

 

The community where they were staying had a nice BBQ that we utilized to grill a big batch of tandoori chicken. We also brought a strawberry salad, featuring fresh farmers’ market berries.

 

Strawberry salad

 

Andrew and I were saying that summer BBQ/potluck food is our favorite to make and to eat. I know it’s not even summer yet, but season is a state of mind.

 

And of course, we couldn’t go to bed without watching the Mad Men series finale. Did anyone else watch it? Were you guys satisfied with the ending? It definitely sparked a debate in our household. We both thought it was good, but not as great as some other major series finales of years past.

Have a great week!

Amy

 

Question: Do you regularly shop at a local farmers’ market? 

Sun Butter Oat Balls #glutenfree #nobake #proteinbite www.amym4gic.com

No Bake Sun Butter Oat Balls

Good late-morning!

 

How is everyone? I just got home from the gym so I’m full of endorphins and hunger. I drove Andrew to work this morning so I can joy-ride around town in his car all day. Just kidding, I need the car for a CPR class I’m taking later this afternoon. Ok and maybe just a little joy-riding. (RIP Paul Walker.)

 

Almost every day, I feel like I come across a recipe for protein balls or energy bites, which sound like a great snack idea, but the second or third ingredient is always coconut. Personally, I am not a fan of the flakey white fruit. I don’t mind coconut flavor, per se; I’m just not crazy about the texture of it shredded.

 

I decided to do a little experimenting and come up with my own coconut-free energy bites… snack balls?… protein circlies?… still working on the name.

 

Sun Butter Oat Balls #glutenfree #nobake #proteinbite www.amym4gic.com

 

The bad news is I was working with a limited pantry when I put these together. The good news is these have very few ingredients and are simple to make! I didn’t even use the food processor because it’s such a pain to clean. This is a one-bowl, 6-ingredient recipe. I hope you like it!

 

Sun Butter Oat Balls #glutenfree #nobake #proteinbite www.amym4gic.com

 

No Bake Sun Butter Oat Balls

INGREDIENTS
(t=teaspoon, T=tablespoon)

1 ½ cups gluten free rolled oats
½ cup sunflower seed butter (or any other nut butter)
1 scoop protein powder (I used Sunwarrior Warrior Vanilla protein powder)
1 T chia seeds
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
3 T maple syrup (honey would work, too)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. If you have time, it helps to refrigerate the dough for 10 minutes or so before shaping, but it’s not essential.  When ready, shape into ping pong-sized balls, and really press them into shape. Once all of the dough has been shaped, store the balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

 

Sun Butter Oat Balls #glutenfree #nobake #proteinbite www.amym4gic.com

 

Makes about 2 dozen balls.

 

Sun Butter Oat Balls #glutenfree #nobake #proteinbite www.amym4gic.com

 

As you can see, these ingredients are not shocking, nor are they revolutionary. Most of them are found in 100 other energy ball recipes. What I discovered is that it’s the ratio that’s important. You need enough “wet” ingredients to hold the balls together, and you need the right amount of dry ingredients so that you don’t end up with sticky balls.

 

Sun Butter Oat Balls #glutenfree #nobake #proteinbite www.amym4gic.com

 

The point is, feel free to swap in and out your favorite ingredients with these. Just try to maintain the general ratio of wet to dry. And please, let me know what you think! I’d love to hear any add-in ideas you guys have… other than coconut, obviously.

 

Happy snacking!

Amy