Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Double Chocolate Protein Waffles

Hi friends!  Happy Tuesday :)  I hope you're having a fantastic day.  Today, I have a little bit more free time than last week.  The weather here is beautiful, so before I go to teach tonight, I'll probably take a short walk outside.  If spring could just come now, I would be completely happy with that....but my heart tells me we have a couple of snow storms in the weeks ahead :)

Today, I have a new to me find to share with you. Now that I'm doing more barre work and am looking to tone up a bit more, I'm trying to focus on incorporating more sources of quality protein in my diet.  If you've noticed, I primarily consume a vegetarian diet, with seafood about 2x a week and chicken 2x a month.  I don't necessarily eat this way for health reasons, I eat this way because it's what I like, although the benefits of a vegetarian diet are incredible.  I don't like red meat and I never have and no, don't says things to me like "you aren't an American then".  I don't like setting food "rules" or restrictions, so this way of eating works pretty well for me!  However, while I get enough protein to meet my needs, I'm probably cutting it close to the end of not getting enough on some days. 

I bounced around the idea of buying brown rice protein powder - but only if I could find one I liked.  I purchased one from Whole Foods a few years ago, the Jarrow brand I believe, and it was so chalky and just awful.  The blog world is all a buzz with Sunwarrior, which I would love to try, but I don't want to shell out lots of money if I'm not going to like it.  I've heard Nutribiotic is pretty good, so I did a little research.  Then, I found that they sell Organic Brown Rice Protein - the reviews I read stated that people like it just as much as Sunwarrior.  I tried it this morning in my waffles and I am officially obsessed!  

Did you know that if you want to gain lean body mass, you only need to take in around an extra 14 grams of protein per day?  It makes those people that go balls to the wall with crazy amounts of protein at every single meal seem a little nuts doesn't it.  You can only absorb around 30 grams of protein at a time anyway... so as always, it's better to have meals that are high in fiber, with protein and a small amount of healthy fat.  Surprise, surprise. 

Originally, when I created this recipe, I wasn't expecting it to turn out nearly as well as it did.  I was expecting to need to make a few tweaks, but that didn't happen.  I never would have known that these waffles contained protein - incredible :)

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Double Chocolate Chip Protein Waffle

Ingredients

2 tbsp Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose gluten-free flour
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
1 tbsp almond flour
1 tbsp flax seed, ground
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 packet stevia
2 tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk + 2 tbsp
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tbsp chocolate chips (I used Sunspire! Only 20 calories!)

1. Combine dry ingredients in a small cup, add wet ingredients.  Stir to combine.
2. Set aside, about 20 minutes, until batter thickens slightly - add chocolate chips.
3. Cook in a pre-heated waffle iron, about 4 minutes, until edges are crispy and waffle removes easily from the pan. 


What's your favorite use for protein powder? 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Scampi Bachelor

Hi friends!  I hope you've had a fabulous Monday.  I've been working away on a presentation that I'm giving tomorrow on nutrition for marathon running.  It's been a little daunting since it's a topic I'm familiar with but not so much so that I'm an expert.  Luckily, the presentation will be very basic and as always I'm using sound resources!

This afternoon, I did an at home workout with the help of my Core Fusion Lean & Toned workout DVD.  I am obsessed with Core Fusion - it's very very similar to Pure Barre - and the at home DVD's are incredible.  I've decided that I want to stretch my PB classes as far as possible, so in the meantime I'm planning on supplementing my live classes with at home Core Fusion and Pilates/Yoga at LA Fitness.  If you love PB, you can test out Core Fusion without spending any pennies, as some of the DVD's are available on Hulu for free.

Since it's Monday, you know what that means... The Bachelor is on!  Tonight is the skinny dipping episode that we've been waiting all season for.  I have to say, that I haven't even watched it yet and I've already lost so much respect for Ben.  He has all these other women that are also there for him - what a stupid thing to do - if I was one of the other women, I would most definitely pack my bags and be out of there.  Seriously, Courtney has spun him in so deep... what are your thoughts on the Courtney/Ben situation hmmm?

Anyway, in honor of The Bachelor, I just had to create a simply fabulous meal to serve.  Now, a few weeks ago, I blogged about how I was going to challenge myself to only eat the food I had in my house.  It worked for a few days - but I started running out of staples like fruits and veggies.  I must say I am much more aware of the prices of items that I put in my cart and I have been watching sales like a hawk.  Yesterday, I decided that today I would open a box of gluten-free linguine that's been hanging out in my cabinet for months...and I would thaw the last of my Langostino tails.

So, you might be wondering, what is Langostino?  In the simplest of terms, it's kind of like a mini lobster.  It's closer in family to a crab, but it tastes like lobster.  I swear to you.  In fact, you've probably had it before as a lot of restaurants sell dishes with Langostino and call them "lobster" dishes.  I always purchase Langostino tails from the frozen section of Trader Joe's - they are usually around $10 for a bag which contains 4 servings.  They come already cooked, so just heat them and you're good to go!  I decided to turn mine into a scampi... because who doesn't love shallots, garlic, olive oil, butter and wine?  Valentine's Day is coming up in a few weeks, so you can always pin this recipe and double it to impress your sweetie :)

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Langostino Scampi

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/2 shallot, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
3/4 cup Langostino tails, thawed
1/4 C sauvignon blanc
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1/8 cup asiago cheese
1/4-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2-3 oz gluten-free linguine or angel hair pasta

1. Bring pot of water to a rapid boil - add pasta - cook about 7-8 minutes until al dente. Check your brand for cooking instructions, as they can be variable.
2. Melt olive oil and butter together in a small saucepan (if doubling, use medium size) over medium high heat.  Add shallot, cook until translucent - about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add garlic, cook until golden - about 1 minute.
4. Check Langostino tails for any lingering veins (they will be dark), remove with tip of knife. Lightly season Langostino with salt and pepper, add to the pan, cook about 30 seconds.
5. Add sauvingnon blanc & lemon juice, simmer 2-3 minutes until sauce slightly thickens and Langostino are heated through.
6. Serve scampi over linguine. Fold in dried parsley, asiago cheese and red pepper flakes to combine.

Itty bitty bites!

Pure amazingness


See you tomorrow :)  Have a great evening!!!

What are your thoughts on The Bachelor?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tortilla Madness

Hi there :)  I hope you're weekend went swimmingly well.  I had a fabulous weekend - I spent a lot of time with my friends - including celebrating a birthday and brunch at my favorite organic restaurant, relaxed, took a great Pilates class and also spent time with my family.  I must say that I am so happy with my life right now - it's not always easy, but I have come to find that for me, each year gets better and better and 26 is the best year yet.  

This weekend, I also ventured into an area of baking that's new to me - cupcakes.  Now, I've made boxed cupcakes before but that doesn't necessarily count.  These were all me.  Jessica, at How Sweet It Is, is always posting fantastic recipes that I just can't get out of my head.  My friend Hannah had a birthday coming up and I wondered if I could adapt Jessica's Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes recipe to make it gluten-free.  I considered making the regular version - but it's a little scary to give someone something that you yourself can't taste!  So, I adapted these cupcakes to be gluten-free by swapping Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour for all-purpose flour and added 3/4 tsp of xanthan gum...they were incredible!



Tonight, my agenda includes pinning (no surprise there), watching Once Upon a Time and painting my nails!  What a perfect little evening.  Oh, but before I go, let me share a quick and simple recipe I just made in the kitchen.  I was making a salad that I topped with avocado and fresh salsa - but it needed something more.... I'd seen tortilla chips served with salads before, so why not create my own?


Healthy Tortilla Croutons

Ingredients

1-2 corn tortillas
olive oil spray
sea salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Using a kitchen scissors, cut tortillas into 6 equally sized wedges.
2. Spray a baking sheet lined with foil with olive oil spray.  Arrange tortilla wedges so that they are not touching - spray with olive oil spray and top with sea salt.
3. Bake 8-10 minutes until lightly crispy.


I served mine atop a Mexican inspired salad :)

Things I'm debating cooking this week include langisto scampi, lasagna and who knows what else... so look for some fun posts coming soon :)

What exciting things did you do this weekend?

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Friday Love List

Hi there!  Happy Friday :)  I hope you've had a fantastic week and an even more fantastic weekend ahead of you.  I don't have too much planned for today - this morning I went to an intense Pure Barre class - by far the hardest one I've ever been to so far.  I have a phone interview this afternoon, so cross your fingers for me that it goes well.  Then, I plan on spending the evening relaxing and hopefully finding something new to cook that I can post on this blog.

Since it's Friday and I don't necessarily have any super fantastic recipes to share (a few in the works.. but not yet!), I wanted to share a list of things I'm loving lately...

1. EOS Lip Balm - It's shaped like an egg - could it be anymore adorable?  Also, it's amazingly smooth and easy to find in my huge bag.



2. Veggie Hummus Sandwiches - This is easy peasy - kind of a mini recipe - take a gluten free English muffin, spread each side with hummus, top each side with 1/2 slice 2% sharp cheddar and tomato slices, bake until cheese melts - add cucumber, lettuce and avocado into the middle - close - devour - smile!



3. Pure Barre - I'm obsessed, could you tell?  If you take a class, I definitely recommend purchasing the socks with the grips on the bottom.  It helps so much for holding certain positions like the plank.

http://purebarre.com
4. Trader Joe's Cranberry Nut Granola - I would have never bought this, but I decided it might be good in Greek yogurt... since I'm trying to switch up my meals and incorporate more protein, I figured why not... it's totally fantastic!



What are you loving lately?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thirsty Thursday

Hi there!  I hope you're having a fabulous Thursday.  Mine has been busy busy busy and will continue to be as the day goes on.  Tonight, I'll be teaching a class on how to become a vegetarian :)  I hope we have a good turn out :)  Then, it's off to the gym where I can hopefully sneak in a decent workout before getting my bangs trimmed.

This post is going to be simple and short - I came home this afternoon and wanted a quick snack.  This recipe was incredible - so thick and chocolately oh my gosh!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Shake

Ingredients

1 cup frozen banana chunks
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp flaxseed

1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend away to combine.
2. Devour :)

'Cause I had already drank 75% by the time I took this picture....


Have a fantastic Thursday! See you soon :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Better Than Panera

Hi again!  I hope you enjoyed my earlier post on the microwave ramekin cake.  I'm tempted to make my way into the kitchen to make another one.  Today was one of those days that just flies by!  I started off my day with a client meeting... only the client didn't show up :(  So, I went home, picked up my Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons and made a few baking related purchases - more on that later.

After my BB&B trip and stopping by Whole Foods to pick up a few necessities (not to mention I got chocolate chips for 20 cents), it was back home to broccoli cheddar soup.  It was so cold today it was almost unbearable - the perfect soup weather.  This was my first time making broccoli soup and I must say it was a success!  I say that about everything I feel like, but mainly because I never show you my absolute kitchen disasters.  I cannot cook salmon at all - every time it is one huge failure - so if you have salmon tips send them my way. I am begging you.

Instead of my usual afternoon job hunt, I realized I was starting to get a migraine, so I took a short nap on the couch and drank some green tea.  Luckily, this was enough to send it into submission.  Before going gluten-free, none of my tactics worked to send my migraines packing.  A few hours later, I attempted to go to Pilates, but the class was canceled so instead I went to Trader Joe's :) Priorities right?  I stocked up on gluten-free granola, greek yogurt, dark chocolate, dried mango, herbed goat cheese and banana chips.  Now, I'm going to go relax on the couch in my pj's... which means it's on to....What I Ate Wednesday!!






Green tea with breakfast :) Always.
Food for Life Multi Seed English Muffin with Egg & 2% Cheddar and Grapes
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Larabar
Salad :)

Broccoli Cheese Soup!!!  See recipe below :)
2 Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Squares
Blurry Raisins :)
Tofu Parmesan with Corn

I *might* have a piece of dark chocolate later... we'll see :)  Onto the soup!  Before I was gluten-free, I used to love broccoli cheddar soup from Panera Bread.  Unfortunately, it's not gluten-free, so I won't be having it anytime soon, unless Panera decides to get more gluten-free friendly.  I've been looking for a broccoli cheese soup and I finally found on that seemed acceptable - I modified a few things to make it gluten-friendly and then lots of other things to make it better in general.  The recipe I modified used Velveeta - ick!  Now, I must warn you, this isn't like Panera's soup....but it's better.  It's not as rich, but it's thicker and creamier.. not to mention loaded with broccoli!


Broccoli Cheese Soup inspired by Cooking Light

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 16-oz package frozen broccoli florets
2.5 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp dry ground mustard
8 ounces shredded 2% cheese

1. Heat olive oil in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat - add onion & garlic, saute until tender.
2. Add vegetable broth and broccoli florets to saucepan, bring to a boil.  Boil for 6 minutes, then reduce heat to medium low and continue cooking for 6 more minutes.
3. Pour half of the broccoli mixture into a blender, puree until smooth.  Add back to original mixture  
4. Add flour to milk, stirring to lightly combine.  Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture and continue stirring until mixture thickens, about 5 minuets.
5. Whisk in black pepper, salt and dry ground mustard. 
6. Stir in cheese until melted.
7. Pour into your favorite bowls and devour - this recipe makes ~5-6 servings.


Have a great evening, see you tomorrow!

What's your favorite kind of soup?

Chocolate Heaven

Why hello there friends :) 

Last night, I taught a class about emotional eating (which would be a great topic for the blog).  I discussed being mindful during meals and truly thinking about eating when you're hungry and stopping when you're full.  After dinner - which wasn't a super success more on that later - I still felt hungry.  There are some nights where I feel like I just need something sweet right this second, which is a place of emotional hunger.  Instead, I just felt hungry, so I decided I would make a healthified microwave chocolate cake.  I had purchased Sunspire chocolate chips at the grocery store after loading a coupon to my savings card - I was blown away by how great they taste!  The ingredients list is simple and 1 tbsp is only 40 calories - compared to 70 calories/tbsp for Nestle.

I've done this kind of cake before, but it's never been this great of a success.  Honestly, before I started playing with the power settings, the cake came out of the microwave like a rock.  Here are some of my biggest tips for success with this recipe:
  • I used Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour blend, which is rapidly becoming my favorite gluten-free flour ever
  • Use a good quality dark cocoa powder - Hershey's Special Dark was my cocoa of choice
  • Don't leave out the tsp of oil - if you don't have coconut, substitute canola - it will add moisture to the cake
  • Make sure you use the 50% power setting
I hope you enjoy this recipe :)  It was probably the most incredible thing I've ever made in the microwave!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ramekin Cake

Ingredients

2 tbsp gluten-free flour
1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 packet stevia
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 2tbsp hot water
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
1 tbsp peanut butter

1. Spray ramekin with non-stick spray.
2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, stevia & baking soda together in a small bowl.
3. Add flaxseed/water mixture to flour mixture.
4. Add the coconut oil, vanilla and milk.  Stir to combine.  Gradually fold in chocolate chips.
5. Pour batter into ramekin, gradually drop chunks of peanut butter into ramekin and fold into batter.
6. Microwave for 2 minutes at 50% power.  Allow to cool for one minute!

Topped with a tiny bit of fat-free whipped cream :) 
Look at those peanut butter swirls in the batter!!!


See you tonight for what I ate Wednesday :)


What kind of chocolate cake would you like to see in the future?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Avocado Love

Hi friends!  Good morning :)  What do you have on the agenda for your Sunday?  Mine is going to include brunch with my grandma (so excited!), lots and lots of laundry (sigh), working on a few presentations and creating a grading rubric.  Even though I graduated from my graduate program last quarter, I was offered the chance to be a teaching assistant for an introductory nutrition course.  My former school is converting to semesters - so students are trying to rush to get this class into their schedules.  I thought taking this opportunity would be great for a couple of reasons - I'm interested in teaching, so it would be good experience in seeing if it's actually something I want to do.  Also, grading is something that I can do at home in my pajamas and seeing that my life is a little up in the air right now, well, why not?

So, here is a quick recap of yesterday :)  I went to the gym for a quick, easy, breezy 30 minutes on the elliptical machine.  It took me 30 minutes to de-ice my car...which seemed like a workout in itself.  Then, I came home, got ready and went out with a few friends for a birthday celebration.  The restaurant was ridiculously crowded - we had to wait 40 minutes for our reserved table.  Luckily, they were very accommodating - free margaritas or guacamole anyone?  I love when restaurants go out of their way to improve customer service, it's such an important component to any dining experience. 

 
I had to order the vegetarian tacos.  Portobello mushrooms, rice, salsa, black beans, guacamole....all on corn tortillas for the gluten-free me :)  One thing I love about this restaurant is how accommodating they are to the gluten-free lifestyle.  When I ordered my meal, I asked if I could sub the corn tortillas for the flour tortillas - without a beat the server replied of course and do you have a gluten allergy?  Love.  I love when they make it easy and I don't have to feel like a difficult customer asking questions about the food.  Back to the tacos, I could eat them literally everyday and luckily I have half of my order saved, which I will be eating tonight during Once Upon a Time.  



Yesterday, I revealed that I would be sharing a recipe that incorporated 3 of my favorite foods.  Avocados, almond butter and chocolate.  I love avocados - I love them in guacamole, sliced over sandwiches, as part of a salad and in recipes with cocoa.  You see, avocados are full of monounsaturated fats (about 3 grams per serving) and polyunsaturated fats (about 0.5g per serving).  Keep in mind the serving size is 1/5th of a medium avocado....oh and did you know avocados are a fruit?  If you're skeptical about using avocado for this type of recipe, I totally understand.  Make sure your avocados aren't too ripe or it will take on more of an avocado taste.  Try this recipe and you'll be a convert!




Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Ingredients

1/4-1/3 avocado
1 tsp almond butter
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 packet stevia

1. Remove avocado from skin but cutting in half with a knife and scooping out the inside with a large spoon.
2. Place avocado in a ramekin and mash - add almond butter, cocoa and stevia - continue mashing until uniform in color.
3. Enjoy!  You could also use a food processor for a smoother consistency.

Mash, mash, mash!

Best. dessert. ever.

What do you have planned for Sunday?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Simply Saturday

Hi there :)  Happy Saturday!  I hope you're having a lovely day so far.  There was some kind of crazy ice storm here last night - I tried to look out my bedroom window and it was covered in ice and I couldn't see - so needless to say, I won't be adventuring out until later in the day.

Originally, I had placed myself on the waiting list for Pure Barre this morning....but considering I'm still sore from Thursday's workout.. and the possibility of ice... I took myself off the list.  I want to save my sessions for days I'm in prime shape to work my hardest.  Yesterday, I went to my gym and walked for 40 minutes on the treadmill and then spent about 15 minutes stretching.  I definitely recommend this if you're sore from Pure Barre - it made me feel 10x better.  Today's workout agenda is going to be a group fitness class at my gym or some kind of cardio.  We'll see.

In other exciting news, two of my friends are celebrating their birthdays tonight!  You see, originally, I missed the party since I was here...so they planned a second outing :)  Tonight, we'll be going out for a late dinner at one of my favorite restaurants Nada.  Truly incredible Mexican and definitely worth the insanity of making reservations weeks in advance.  They have the most incredible portobello mushrooms I've ever eaten - so it's not hard to guess what I'll be ordering!

Today, I'm going to share a recipe that I made last night.  Let me tell you, there is no better Friday night than Indian food, pajamas and Grey's Anatomy.  It's not a surprise that I love Indian food, but I always keep my order the same and order saag paneer.  If you've ordered saag paneer before, you might be duped into thinking it's healthy, saag is spinach after all.  Well, have you ever noticed that leftovers solidify in your fridge or that bowls that you use to reheat seem to be covered in a layer of ghee?  Exactly. 

So, there is good news and bad news with this recipe.  The bad news is I wouldn't call it healthy - it does use whipping cream - but the good news is that it's definitely healthier than what you'll be finding at your local indian restaurant.  I put this recipe into myfitnesspal and it came out with 284 calories and 23 grams of fat if you use 6 oz of paneer cheese, leave out the paneer and it comes out to 414 calories and 11 grams of fat.  I'll be testing this recipe out with tofu cubes eventually - I think they would make a great substitute for paneer - so without anymore typing, here is what you've been waiting for....

Indian Saag adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garam marsala
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp red pepper flakes
16 oz frozen spinach, thawed
1 pint whipping cream
paneer or tofu cubes (if desired)

1. Saute shallot and minced garlic in olive oil until lightly browned.
2. Add in 1/2 cup tomato sauce, ginger, coriander, cumin & red pepper flakes.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened
3. Add spinach to sauce mixture - continue stirring until spinach turns olive green, about 8-10 minutes. 
4.  Pour spinach mixture into food processor and pulse about 30 seconds.  Add 1/4 of the pint to the processor.  Process until slightly combined.
5. Return spinach mixture to pan, stir in remaining whipping cream.
6. Stir in paneer cheese cubes or tofu if desired.  Serve over rice (see recipe below) and enjoy your little homemade Indian feast!


Adding the spinach in...

Notice how the spinach is now olive green!

Yep, the Valentine's Day plates are out :)


Indian Rice Blend

Ingredients

1 cup brown jasmine rice
1 cup white basmati rice
1/2 cup frozen peas

1. Add rice to rice cooker with equal parts water.  Add frozen peas.
2. Place cooker to cook setting, do nothing while the rice cooker makes your perfect rice :)

Let your rice cooker do all the work!

This recipe makes about 4 servings of Indian Saag and a ton of rice.  I served 1/2 cup of saag with 2/3 cup of the rice blend.  I have an entire container of saved rice, so I'm sure I'll be posting something that you can do with it on here soon.  Have a simply fabulous Saturday and see you tomorrow with a recipe that uses my 3 favorite things... avocado, almond butter and chocolate :)


What do you have planned for Saturday?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Barre Love

Hi friends!  I hope you're having a fabulous Thursday.

I went to my first barre class at Pure Barre and it definitely kicked my booty.  If you aren't familiar with a barre class, the outline is something like this - arm work, thigh work, seat work, ab work.  The arm work was definitely more fast paced than other barre classes that I've taken and I struggled a little bit at times.  The class was definitely challenging but not impossible.  My favorite aspect of barre classes is that they never get easier as you get stronger - there are always modifications or you can go a little lower to still feel the burn.  My groupon was for 6 classes and today's class was free.  They also offer a new student special - $99 for a month of unlimited classes (!) - so we'll see... that might end up happening :)

For the rest of today, I'll be applying for another full-time position and preparing for a couple of client meetings that I have tomorrow.  I love doing individual nutrition counseling - it's probably one of the favorite aspects of my job.  I also have discovered that I love doing nutrition presentations - isn't that crazy?  I used to be terrified of public speaking and I probably would be for any other topic that isn't nutrition.  I gave so many presentations in graduate school that it doesn't even phase me anymore - now I worry more about people getting bored!  At my part-time position, I do workshops for undergraduate students on various nutrition topics in addition to teaching nutrition makeover classes.  

And now... a little inspiration for your Thursday...




See you tomorrow!  I'm off to make Mama Pea's gluten-free scones :) Mmmm, I can't wait!


What's your favorite non-traditional workout?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What A Wednesday :)

Hi everyone!  I hope you're having a magnificent Wednesday.  Today, I made a mini trip to the grocery, applied for another full-time job.. cross your fingers for me, taught an "Ask the RD" class and snuck in a quick workout.  I came home to my DVR, where I've been catching up on my favorite shows that I missed while in Hawaii - is anyone else as obsessed with Revenge as I am?!?  It leaves me in my seat week after week, but sadly I just don't see how it is going to go on forever :(  I mean, how many people are there that she can take down?  However, the writers have already been so creative that I can't even begin to imagine what they have in store next.

Tomorrow, I'm taking my first class at Pure Barre!  I bought a Groupon for 6 classes a few months ago :) I called today to sign up for my first class and was told that I get an additional class for free - I am overjoyed.  When I was a graduate student, my campus gym offered a barre sculpt class that was seriously incredible.  Unfortunately, Pure Barre classes are way out of my price range right now - especially since I'm still hunting around for a full-time job.  Maybe someday....  In the meantime,  I'll have to get my barre fix from the millions of Core Fusion DVD's that I own :)

Yesterday, I blogged about "the challenge" aka. Lindsay eats her way through her fully stocked freezer and I must say, so far so good.  Today, I took a trip to Kroger because the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables wasn't going to work for me.  Plus, I just came back from Hawaii where I was eating avocados everyday... so you can see below what went into my cart.



All for a grand total of $8.38!!  Now, you'll see iceburg lettuce there - obviously, that's not the most nutritious choice and I normally buy organic spinach (which I have a ton of in my freezer) but it was $0.89.  Grapes were on sale for $0.99 a pound, tomatoes on the vine were only $1.49 a pound and avocados were $0.99.  I've been dying to try the spicy Alexia fries and I had a $1.00 off coupon from their website - there are 7 servings in a bag, but I expect to get 14... I only need 15 french fries there is no way that I need 30!  I normally read ads and cut coupons before I go to the store, but I must admit that I'm not always super diligent about it.  This is definitely something that has to change in 2012.... and now for the first time ever, I'll be sharing what I ate Wednesday :)  I've seen this on other blogs before and never knew how to take part, it was started by Peas & Crayons and you can find more info on how your blog can participate here :)  Now enjoy my first WIAW!




Not exactly my best breakfast... but at least that hash brown was from TJ's ;)

Salad with tomatoes, onion, walnuts, kalamata olives and LF balsamic

Veggie burger with avocado and baked sweet potato fries :)
 Trader Joe's trail mix
Corn pasta from TJ's with edamame and Rao's Marinara

Super easy baked apple :)  Core the apple, add 1/2 tsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp light margarine & cinnamon
Mini chocolate peanut butter cookie...I couldn't resist

That's all for today :)  See you tomorrow when I'm super sore from Pure Barre... I can't wait!!!

How was your Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Challenge

Happy Tuesday everyone!  I'm back in the Midwest and while I absolutely adored my vacation, it's nice to be home.  My goals now for the rest of this month include finding a full-time job as a dietitian, committing to more regular blogging, staying on track with exercising and the challenge.

What is the challenge you might ask?  Well, before I left for Hawaii, I began to notice that my freezer and cabinets were practically overflowing with food.  How did this happen!?  Well, when I made a meal, I usually freeze the leftovers in small pyrex dishes and there are times that I over-buy at the grocery store :( 

So, the challenge is to make as many meals as possible without going to the grocery store, while still getting in around 5 servings of fruits/vegetables per day.  Obviously, I might need to go to the store for a few minor ingredients and or to stock up on fruits and veggies - such as I have all the ingredients for indian saag except for one - but in the meantime I'll be blogging about what I'm eating and what I'm buying at the store.  I'm thinking that today's meals are going to look something like this.....

Tuesday

Breakfast: peanut butter chocolate pancake w/banana coconut cream (see recipe below!)
Lunch: spinach potato quiche w/tomato sauce and a side of corn
Snack: 1/4 cup Trader Joe's omega-trail mix
Dinner: macaroni and cheese with edamame & an apple

Let's gather ingredients for breakfast....


Peanut Butter Chocolate Pancake

Ingredients

1/3 cup Pamela's Baking Mix
1 tbsp flaxseed
1/3 cup milk of choice
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips

1. Combine baking mix and flaxseed in a small bowl or cup.
2. Slowly add 3/4 of the milk to the mix, you will find that the flaxseed will absorb the liquid fairly quickly - you may find that you need to add the remaining milk to have a batter like consistency after the addition of the peanut butter.
3. Microwave peanut butter in a small dish for 30 seconds or until soft, add to the pancake batter.  Stir in chocolate chips.
4. Spray a small pan with nonstick spray, heat on medium low.  Add batter.
5. Cook until edges begin to look cooked, flip when the bottom of pancake is brown.  You will not see bubbles in the batter as with normal pancakes.
6. Top with banana cream - see recipe below.

Ready to flip....
Yummm....


Banana Coconut Cream

Ingredients

3/4 frozen banana
1 tbsp coconut, unsweetened

1. Blend banana and coconut in a food processor until creamy, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides.
2. Use to top pancakes, waffles or on it's own as a substitute for ice cream. 

Adding in the coconut...

Best. breakfast. ever.

Do you plan meals in advance or stockpile food?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why Hello Again

Hi friends! TGIF and all that jazz.  I just wanted to stop by super quick to share one of my latest and quickest meals - and to give a quick update from paradise of course.  If you viewed my last post, I'm sure you already know.


Anyway, today was a nice relaxing day!  I woke up around 7 am - which is late for me, the time change had me so confused that at the beginning of the week I was waking up at 5:30 am.  I started off the day with a breakfast of brown rice bread with cheddar cheese and lots of grapes :)  Then, it was time to hit the beach for sun and sandcastles.  I just love the beauty of the waves - it truly is magical here.

After that, it was time to hit up Red Hot Mama's - I ordered one tofu taco and one chicken taco.  The tofu taco was out of this world delicious - but it bothered my stomach a little bit - tofu often does unless it's sprouted.  The chicken taco was pretty good, but definitely not my favorite.  We relaxed at Tunnels Beach for awhile, but the waves and the wind were seriously out of control.  I've never seen waves that high...well ever.

After that, it was back to the beach house for a little down time.  Dinner was out of control amazing... local organic mixed salad greens with avocado, marinated goat cheese, radishes, tomato... grilled ono with lemon...a few baked fries...and local chocolate gelato.  The sky is crystal clear here in Kauai, so we grabbed our beach towels and laid in the backyard to stare at the sky.  I seriously wish there was some way to photograph it...I have never seen so many stars in my entire life.  It was breathtaking, marvelous and unbelievable all at the same time.

One thing I love about Kauai, is the huge focus on sustainable and healthy living - recycling is all around and every restaurant gives food in recyclable containers.  The farmers market is packed with incredible local and organic food.  There is a natural foods store in town too that rocks :)  I even found Cacoa Coconut Bliss... something I've been searching forever for in the Midwest!  I can't wait to try.  Now, for everyone else that isn't quite as relaxed and needs a quick and easy meal option, I have just the thing for you.....


Easy Hummus Pizza

Ingredients

1 multi-seed, gluten-free English muffin
2 tbsp hummus of choice
1/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

1. Split muffin into 2 halves - then top each half with 1 tbsp hummus, 1/4 cup spinach leaves & 1/8 cup mozzarella.
2. Bake in a 400 degree oven ~ 12 minutes until cheese is bubbly :)

Yummm

What's your to-go to meal when you're slammed for time?