Random Issues and Birthday Banana Crisp

I may have an insatiable sweet tooth but when it comes to the roasted vegetables from the Whole Foods food bar, I have zero will power.

whole foods food bar roasted vegetables

I was at Whole Foods over the weekend just to pick up wild-caught salmon to cook for my mother’s birthday dinner (she loves salmon, me not so much at all unless it is carefully hidden in sushi) and I just couldn’t resist making myself a small box of the roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli to eat as I walked to my car.

If you spot someone eating Brussels sprouts with a fork from a box as they walk, you might as well ask for their web address since it is clear they are a healthy living blogger.

Before we get to my mom’s birthday dinner highlights from last night, we have some important things to discuss first.

red mango

My parfait is in the above boring little cup because my local Red Mango had the nerve to tell me yesterday that they will no longer be carrying the clear, tall plastic parfait cup.

Like, what?!

How the heck can I make a proper parfait without a parfait cup?

It’s bad enough that the price of Red Mango yogurt these days exceeds the price of three slices of specialty pizza, more than a manicure and even more than a ginormous lunch-sized salad from The Cheesecake Factory but now they want me to layer my parfait hidden inside of a small cup?

If you are sitting there thinking I am a bit insane about my yogurt, try talking to me about running shoes and my feet.

I don’t sneaker shop much at all since I am hooked on the Adidas Energy Boosts and once I actually find the right shoe, I try to leave well enough alone BUT my feet are once again maybe possibly looking for a change of scenery.

Maybe. I don’t know.

running shoes

I was headed into Trader Joe’s which is next to Incredible Feets so I went in to browse.

The innocent employee asked if he could help me and I went on a long-winded tangent of what I might be looking for in a running shoe.

He just stood there with his mouth opened unsure what to say to me.

I assured him it was okay to think I was insane, I am a runner after all.

My insanity is often put to good use though when I need to throw together a birthday dinner.


Quite often I would skip straight to dessert if I could.

If you recall, my son and I made a delicious birthday dinner back in December for my father complete with a chocolate fudge cookie dough layer cake.

Last night’s dinner was just as tasty only we made a completely different menu for my mother’s birthday.

birthday dinner

Aside from making wild salmon, a simple chicken dish and a chickpea recipe I will share soon, the real stars of the show were the side dishes in my opinion.

I roasted butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and diced apples with a drizzle of coconut oil, maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon.


I may not be ready to give up summer but I have no issue welcoming the fall flavors.


My fancy rice mix is actually just a microwave pouch of Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley mixed with Tricolor Quinoa which cooks in no time.


They blend so nicely! Great texture too.

Normally when I cook a few servings of quinoa for the week, I cook it in plain water just so I can add it to whatever type of dish that I want.

Not that it needed anything for flavor but I added a spoonful of maple syrup to this quinoa and brown rice serving bowl and mixed it around just to enhance the fall feeling.

And look, I finally tried making my own onion rings!


Recipe not ready for sharing but I am really excited about how simple it was!

I know that birthdays normally call for a layer cake but I came across a recipe for a banana crisp and I just could not resist.

banana crisp

My mother really appreciates a dessert that I can make on the healthier side so I knew I had to make this banana crisp in place of a traditional cake.

The concept of this banana crisp is similar to an apple crisp only it is a layer of sliced bananas mixed with chocolate chips (I used mini Ghirardelli dark) then covered in yummy crumble topping.


I followed the recipe except I went lighter on the brown sugar, probably heavier on the chocolate chips and added a spoonful of Mighty Maple peanut butter just because life is always better when peanut butter is involved.


Oh yes.

My dad doesn’t like bananas (he would if he would stop being so picky and just try it) but since it wasn’t his birthday I just figured I would appease him with a cookie.


Sometimes my pinterest boards overwhelm me. I have a bazillion pins on my cookies board yet most of the time I just end up creating my own thing.

I made an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie using both semi-sweet chocolate chips and a chopped up chunk of a dark chocolate truffle bar from Trader Joe’s.

I feel my best in the kitchen when I don’t follow a recipe.

It’s feeling like fall outside today which the runner in me should appreciate yet instead is reminding me that the super cold days of winter running in layers is slowly approaching.



Don’t forget to enter the Stur Giveaway, winner to be announced Wednesday morning! 

Do you need to follow recipes or do you prefer to create your own?

Anyone currently running in the Brooks Glycerin 12’s? I tried them on, I own the 10’s but I just don’t know.

What healthy food do you have zero will power around?  

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  1. says

    Oh my between the whole foods bar and that side salad mix you made with Brussels sprouts, I’m hungry already! I could never turn down grilled veggies (except mushrooms are a no no) I also can rarely refuse ice cream. Ah well
    Kaitlin recently posted…We Will Never ForgetMy Profile

  2. says

    Ooooh banana crisp, not sure I have ever seen that before, but thats a good idea. And we have like 60 bananas (okay, not 60, maybe like 10) left from his cross country meet that i need to use…..hmmmm!

    When i was in whole foods the other day, that salad bar was calling my name, but my stubbornness resisted and told me I could make a salad at home, but its only a matter of time.

    PB m&ms are my definite weakness, I CANNOT stop eating them!
    tina Muir recently posted…The Road Half Marathon Recap and Meatless Monday: Superfood CurryMy Profile

    • says

      I just couldn’t resist the food bar the other day. Normally I do hold out but I couldn’t…Try the banana crisp. When I saw the recipe, I just had to make it. It was so simple yet different than your typical crispy dessert.

    • says

      I know right?!!? I don’t even know what to say and our only hope is that the other local locations won’t be participating in this no more parfait cup thing. It will be tragic if it really happens across the board.