Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Creamy Roasted Broccoli

I am the only person in my house that eats broccoli.  No matter how I make it, they always turn their noses up at it.  Now I just make it for myself and hope someone shows some interest in it.  I love roasting broccoli.  It gives it a yummy, nutty flavor.

3 cups of fresh broccoli
1/2 cup garlic hummus
2 Tablespoons of parmesan, grated
A few spritzes of olive oil

Roast your broccoli in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes or so.  Add the hummus and parmesan and eat.  It really couldn't be easier.  It is a delicious side dish, snack or lunch.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Caprese Roasted Tomatoes

I had this as a side dish to my steak last night and it was DELISH!  I love Caprese salads so it was no surprise to me how yummy these were.

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large tomato, cut in half
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 hands full of baby spinach
1 hand full of basil leaves
fresh mozzarella, sliced

I poured the balsamic in a dish and placed the tomatoes, cut side down, in the vinegar.  I let them sit for about 20 minutes or so.  I then put the tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes.

Then I tossed the spinach and basil in a pan and wilted it with a couple of spritzes of olive oil.  When the spinach and basil was almost done, I added the minced garlic until fragrant.  Once the tomatoes were done in the oven, I put half of the spinach/basil mixture on top of each tomato.  Then I added a slice of fresh mozzarella to the top and put it under the broiler until all melty.   So yummy!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Peanut Butter and Banana Streusel Muffins

Let me start out by saying that these are regular size muffins, not mini muffins, and each one has ONLY 125 calories!!!!  I love streusel!  I especially love streusel that has actual brown sugar and butter!!  Of all of the healthier muffins I make, these are BY FAR my favorite.  That is not to say that those other muffins are bad.  These are just AWESOME!

I adapted the recipe from here.

3 Tablespoons whole grain pastry flour
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon honey

2 cups whole grain pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup PB2 (powdered peanut butter) + 4 Tablespoons of water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray

Streusel: Make the streusel by combining all of the ingredients together with a spoon until it forms wet crumbs

Muffins: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until combined. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, applesauce, peanut butter, sugar, and egg until blended. Whisk the milk and vanilla into the banana mixture until combined.

Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture with a spoon, just until blended. Do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing evenly. Crumble the streusel mixture on top of the muffin batter, dividing evenly.

Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Easy Omelets!

As you all know, I am a big planner.  I plan my breakfasts, lunches and dinners a week ahead of time and most weeks, have my breakfasts and lunches prepared on Sunday so all I have to do is grab it and eat during the week.  This leads me to make better choices when eating because I already have it made, so I don't decide to have a bag of buttered popcorn with additional butter added for lunch.  I have no excuses.

Here is another yummy breakfast option...OMELETS!  Who doesn't love an omelet?  You can make it however you want.  You can make a different one each day.  Get a giant muffin tin, spray with cooking spray, and add 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites.  Then all you need to do is add your favorite omelet fixins.  Put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Make them on Sunday for the week and keep them in the fridge in a sealed container.  Pull one out every morning and warm in the microwave and add a whole grain English muffin or some fruit and Breakfast is done!  One large egg has 70 calories and each egg white is 17 calories, so with that as your base, you start with 104 calories for the eggs.  All you then have to do is add what you put in it!

Mine had diced red onions, diced mushrooms, baby spinach and red peppers...So delicious!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Vegetable Soup with Lentils and Quinoa

So I decided to use everything that I already had on hand (and left over from other meals) to make my soup for the week.  It is delicious and so filling!

1 cup dry lentils (cook them according to package directions)
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1 medium zucchini
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups kale, chopped
3 medium red skin potatoes, diced
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, spray some cooking spray and add the onion, carrots and celery until softened.  Then add the garlic for about 1 minute.  Then add the zucchini,  diced tomatoes and cooked lentils.  Add the dry quinoa and potatoes and cook about 10 minutes or until quinoa and potatoes are cooked.  Once they are cooked through, add the kale and herbs.

This makes about 12 cups of soup.  I eat 2 cups at lunch.

Nutritional info for each 2 cup serving:  261 calories,  0 grams saturated fat, dietary fiber 15.2 grams, 8.7 grams sugar, and protein 14.9 grams

Friday, January 18, 2013

Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins

I find myself intrigued by bizarre recipes lately.  Would I have eaten a muffin with carrots, applesauce, raisins and coconut a couple of years ago?  Heck no!  It would have most definitely had chocolate chips of some sort.  When I came across this recipe in my Eating Well (February 2013) magazine, I knew I had to try it.  It makes a great breakfast!

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats, plus 2 T. for garnish
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted if necessary
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 2 Tablespoons for garnish
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Whisk the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk eggs, applesauce, honey, vanilla, and oil.

Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just moistened.  Gently stir in carrots, raisins, and coconut.

Distribute batter into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle extra coconut and oats on the tops.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Nutritional Info: calories: 186, Saturated fat: 6 grams, Sugar: 7 grams, Protein: 4 grams, and Fiber: 3 grams

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa

I have been mixing things up a little lately in the breakfast department, so this morning, I decided to make some quinoa for my breakfast.  It is faster than making steel cut oats and it is pretty tasty too!

Serves 1

1 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg

Cook the quinoa in the almond milk according to the quinoa package directions.  Add the cinnamon as it simmers.  Once cooked add the blueberries and the pinch of nutmeg.

It is very good and filling and keeps you full until lunch!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lemon Cookies

I realized that I no longer have any Girl Scouts living on my street.  I started to panic.  I love the lemon cookies.  I mean, I really love them.  I calmed down a bit and decided to make some myself.  There was a fantastic recipe for lemon cookies in my Eating Well magazine, February 2013.

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, or all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar, divided
2 Tablespoons, softened
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 large egg white
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.

In another bowl, beat 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and oil with an electric mixer.  Beat until fluffy.  Add egg white, lemon zest and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Add lemon juice.  Mix it all together.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little bit at a time with a rubber spatula just until combined.

I used a mini ice cream scoop and my batch of cookies made 1 1/2 dozen.  Space them 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet and press them flat with the bottom of a glass.  Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar (You will NOT use all of the sugar).  Bake for about 12 minutes.  Just until the edges begin to lightly brown.

Allow to cool and crisp and store them in an airtight container.  They are darn tasty!  The hubs even liked them!

Nutritional info: 100 calories each, 3 grams fat, 8 grams sugar, 1.5 grams protein, 0 grams fiber

Monday, January 14, 2013

Farro Bean Soup

Here is my lunch for the week!  It is going to be another cold week, so i am going to have some nice hot soup!  Adapted from here.
Makes about 7 servings

2 oz diced prosciutto
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk diced
3 garlic cloves minced
cooking spray

1, 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 small zucchini, diced
3-4 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked farro
1/4 cup chopped basil
red pepper flakes, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Spray a pot with cooking spray and toss the prosciutto in and let it cook for a minute then add the celery and onion.  Stir until softened (about 6 minutes or so).  Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute.  

Add the tomatoes, zucchini, beans, chicken broth and farro.  Cook farro in soup until done (see cooking directions on your farro).  Add basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  If the soup is too thick add some more broth.  ENJOY!

Nutritional info:  414 calories, 0.5 g saturated fat, 21g Dietary fiber, 5.2 g sugar, and 25g protein!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Are You Really THAT Busy?

This was my NUMBER ONE EXCUSE for not working out.  I had 2 small children and a full time job.  Make the time.  Schedule it every day in your calendar.  You are worth it!

It obviously doesn't have to be running.  As we all know, I HATE running.  Just do SOMETHING!  Try a DVD, a Spin class, Zumba, walk the dog!  Just MOVE!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal

I have been loving my oatmeal these days.  This one is like a dessert in a bowl though.  It is so good, it is sinful.

1/4 cup Steel Cut Oats
1 1/2 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk
1/2 mashed banana
1 Tablespoon of PB2 Powdered Peanut butter
1 Tablespoons of Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips

Add your almond milk to a pan and begin to simmer.  Once it simmers, add the steel cut oats.  While the oats are simmering in the almond milk for 20 minutes, I mashed half of a banana in my bowl and added 1 Tablespoon of PB2.  When the oats were done, I added them to my bowl and combined them with my banana and my PB2.  Once it was all combined, I sprinkled the chocolate chips on top.  Soooooo good!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My New Toy!

I decided that I wasn't happy with the uncertainty of these apps that tell me how many calories I have been burning when I work out.  I mean, how do they know?  I could totally be going through the motions one day and working my butt off the next day and I still give myself the same credit for the workout when I log it into myfitnesspal.   Just like with my kitchen food scale, I needed to know what a serving size was.  So with my workout, I needed to know how many calories I was REALLY burning with each workout.

My new Heart Rate Monitor is quite a motivator!  I got a fairly basic Polar FT4.  I added in my height, weight and age and it does the rest!  There are many different styles and ones with a TON of bells and whistles on them.  You could pay hundreds!  Mine, I just wanted to know how many calories I was burning.  I feel no need to upload my workout info into my computer and map everything out.  I don't want to be that analytical.  Maybe some day, but I am happy with this one right now.

Every time I am in my target heart rate zone it quietly beeps to let me know I am where I am doing the best work.  It is pretty motivating to work hard in each workout just to hear that little beep.  I thought the chest strap was going to be a little distracting, but it really isn't.  I hardly notice it at all as I am sweating profusely.  :)

My only wish is that I had gotten one sooner.  I really love it!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Porcini Mushroom Soup

I LOVE soup when it is cold and yucky outside.  For my lunch this week, I made some soup.  This recipe makes 10 cups and at 111 calories per cup, go ahead and eat 2 cups per day.  It is so delicious and filling.  I adapted my recipe from here.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, chopped
1 large onion, diced
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
16 oz sliced button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms
5 minced garlic cloves

4-5 cups of chicken broth
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 can diced tomatoes or freshly diced
1 cup uncooked farro

salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of dried oregano

grated pecorino cheese (optional)

Pour 1 cup of water in a heatproof cup or bowl and put the dried porcini mushrooms in it.  Place some plastic wrap over the top with a few knife vents and place in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Let it steep while you work on the rest of the soup.

In a large stockpot, pour 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and the onions, carrots and sliced mushrooms.  Cook until softened and all of the liquid has rendered from the mushrooms, about 15 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more.

Dice the softened porcini mushrooms and place them in the pot as well as the liquid from them (you may want to strain the liquid though a paper towel in case there is any grit resting at the bottom of your glass).  Add 4 cups of chicken broth, tomato paste, diced tomatoes and farro.  Bring pot to a boil and then simmer for however long it says to cook your farro on the package.  Mine from Trader Joe's says 10 minutes.  Depending on how much broth your farro, soaks up, you may choose to add another cup of broth.

Add the salt, pepper and oregano.

When serving the soup you may want to add a bit or grated Pecorino.  :)

Nutritional Info (without cheese) 10, 1 cup servings:
Calories: 111, Saturated fat: 0.2g, Dietary fiber: 4.1 g, sugar: 3.6g, and Protein 6.7 g.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats

I used to love having a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning before I got on the bus for school.  It has been quite a long time since I have had warm oatmeal in the morning.  Since I have been having overnight oatmeal for so long, I decided to switch it up a bit this week.  Today,  I made some Apple Pie Steel Cut Oats.  It was VERY yummy and so filling!

1 1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
1/4 cup steel cut oats
1 apple (1/2 cut up, eat the other half)
Cinnamon to taste
1 Stevia Packet

I put the milk in a pan and brought it to a boil.  Then I added the oats, the cinnamon and the apple and brought the heat down to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Once my oats were cooked, I added some more cinnamon and a Stevia packet.  It was a perfect breakfast on this 12 degree morning!

Nutritional Info:  286.4 calories, 1 g saturated fat, 9.7 g dietary fiber, 15.4g sugar, and 6.9 g protein

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Mocha Smoothie

I am mixing things up a bit.  I am making a smoothie for my breakfast instead of some overnight oatmeal.  Try this one.  I am really LOVING IT!  I mean, it has coffee in it for goodness sake.

1 frozen banana
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
1 packet of instant coffee
1 Tablespoon of PB2 (powdered peanut butter)
1 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 large handful of fresh spinach
1 large handful of ice

Nutritional Info: 271 calories, 2.1 g fat, 37.1g carbs, 5.9 g dietary fiber, 15g sugar, and 24 g protein.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Warrior Salad

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I am so ready to get back to my regular schedule.  I have eaten whatever I have wanted and not worked out as much I should have.  It is the holiday season, so I'm not going to dwell on it.  What's done is done.  Time to move on and get back to it.  I can absolutely tell I have not been eating well or been working out.  I have less energy and just feel kind of blah.

I got the recipe for this salad from a cookbook that I got for Christmas (The Chew) and it is from Daphne Oz.  I changed it a little by not adding as much olive oil, but here it is.

Serves 4

1 Tablespoon Olive oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp real maple syrup
1 tsp. whole grain mustard
salt and pepper to taste

2 cups cooked quinoa
3/4 cup chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced

Nutritional info:  265 calories, 0.5 g saturated fat, 46.1 g carbs, 5.5 g dietary fiber, 8.3 sugars, and 8.4 g protein.