Crazy for Quinoa

Made it to Wednesday, which means we made it to the end of our short week! Yah! It always easier to get through weeks that are short. I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family and celebrating my 27th birthday on Friday. Hubby and I are participating in our local turkey trot tomorrow. It will be a great way to start our day!

I’m linking up today with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday today. This week I “mixed it up” and tried some new recipes.

greekyogurtBanana Oat Greek Yogurt

  • Dannon Light & Fit Banana Greek Yogurt Blends
  • 1/2 TB chia seeds
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter of choice (I heat it in the microwave to make it a little melty)
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • Sprinkle KIND Cinnamon Oat Clusters granola and cinnamon on top
  • You could also add cooked (and cooled) quinoa to the yogurt!

2013-11-25 18.12.19I made these Pizza Quinoa Stuffed Portabellas Monday night for the Elf for Health challenge #1 (Meatless Monday). They turned out really well! I enjoy trying new recipes. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but it’s always good to mix things up! Next time I might add some toppings to it (i.e., more veggies!).

2013-11-24 13.51.33One of my favorite dinners lately has been a Quinoa Veggie Salad. I’m just crazy for quinoa! Even though it tastes like a dirty old tree branch. Such a great commercial haha. It’s filling, full of good for you veggies, and protein! I’m discovering more and more how important it is to have protein at every meal to feel full and satisfied.

Quinoa Veggie  Salad

  • Make a bed of greens of your choice (I use spinach and kale)
  • Cook your quinoa (I usually cook 1/2 cup uncooked at a time, yields about a cup when done).
  • While quinoa is cooking, saute desired veggies in a pan with small amount of EVOO or cooking spray. I used what I had on hand including broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, mini sweet peppers, and broccoli. 
  • Once quinoa is cooked (about 15 minutes), combine 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa with one wedge of laughing cow cheese (any variety). Then mix in cooked veggies.
  • Top your greens with quinoa/veggie mixture.
  • Top with sliced avocado, sunflower seeds, and feta.
  • ENJOY!

This happened last Friday- Papa Murphy’s hawaiian pizza with bacon. I don’t eat a lot of pizza because I limit the amount of wheat in my diet, but sometimes you just gotta have a slice of pizza. And that’s OK! Besides preferring thin crust, it definitely hit the spot last week.

2013-11-22 17-1.47.19I feel proud of myself that I have completed 30.5  miles out of the 40 I set at the beginning of the month for the Pile on the Miles Challenge via Run Eat Repeat. I’ve been chipping away at my goal slowly, but surely. Yesterday I got up early to complete a 2 mile walk/run on the treadmill. Then after work I headed to spin class. I haven’t taken spin in a while and I really missed it! I think it will definitely help my legs muscles and IT band in the strength department.

2013-11-26 18.40.39Last night I enjoyed some peppermint tea and a cherry chip cookie from my favorite local bakery, Manderfields. I buy the pre-made dough and pop it in the oven here (cheaper that way!). My mom used to send me care packages at college and she’d always include my favorite cookies. It’s the little things sometimes. 🙂

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It’s what you make of it that matters most!

Any other Turkey Trotters? Favorite meatless Monday meal? Favorite “speciality” cookie?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Mini Crock Pots & Popcorn

2013-11-17 19.38.10Murphy and I would like to wish you a happy Wednesday! My week has been going well so far, except for a cold I’ve developed. I’ve had less meetings after work this week and with Thanksgiving coming up, a short break is on the horizon! Woo hoo!

Today is What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons! My eats this week have been a little more diverse than usual. I’ve been getting fuller a lot quicker for some reason, so I’m not sure what that’s about. Could be some of the new food I’m eating.

Friday night I didn’t feel like cooking (let’s face it- do I ever?), so hubby and I grabbed some food from Q’doba. I don’t go there a whole lot, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to order. Although I studied abroad in Mexico, I’m not a huge fan of Mexican food in general- too many beans and tortillas does not make my stomach happy. I ended up going with the naked pork burrito bowl with lettuce, grilled veggies, salsa verde, and cheese. It was really good except that the grilled veggies made the lettuce kind of watery. The leftovers weren’t so great.

2013-11-15 17.33.54I am in love with my mini lunch crock pot. I received it last Christmas and forgot about it until recently. It’s perfect for taking soup or chili to work. You simply plug it in and your food will be nice and hot whenever you eat! It’s main use it just heating because the food needs to already be cooked. It’s really convenient for taking leftovers to work. I took my leftover baked potato soup (a la Skinnytaste) last week.

crockpotI’ve been on a popcorn kick lately. Not just plain old popcorn though, Pop Crunch Cheddar & Caramel Mix from Orville Redenbacher’s (such a good combo!) and Popcorn Indiana’s Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn. YUM.

popcornI picked up some cinnamon chips at my last grocery store run. I never bake with cinnamon chips, so I wasn’t completely sure what to use them in. After perusing Pinterest, I decided on Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Spice cookies from I Heart Nap Time. They are really similar to the carrot cake pumpkin muffins I make often (just substituting cinnamon chips for mini chocolate chips and adding pudding mix). Make sure to bake the cookies the full 10 minutes. I under baked some of batches of mine and they’re a little soft (more “muffin” than “cookie” like).

2013-11-17 17.38.27Last night I enjoyed a little Centergy. I’m continuing to rehab my IT band with active exercise (thank you for all the advice!!) and am working on getting new running shoes. I think there may be a benefit to getting my feet refitted for running shoes. I’m curious what the other running store in my area will recommend for shoes. I’m definitely not hating the opportunity to look at new running shoes lately!

2013-11-17 07.59.54Keep calm and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Plain or flavored popcorn? Like or dislike Mexican food? Favorite fitness class this week?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Food to Eat, Food for Thought

sport-keep-fit-inspiration-good-quotes-sayings-picsWhile I’m out of commission from running for a bit, I’ve been enjoying other forms of exercise. Namely, Group Centergy and Group Core, but I’ve been dabbling with starting up Group Power (similar to Body Pump) as well. I’m not ready for the soreness I know will come. At the same time, I kinda like to be sore because it means I worked my butt off! I haven’t weight lifted (besides body weight exercises) because I didn’t want to be too sore to run and throw off my training schedule. Now that there’s no race in my near future, stay tuned- weight lifting may be my next endeavour. 🙂

On the food front, it’s WIAW hosted by Peas and Crayons! The hubs and I ate out a couple times last week.

2013-11-08 17.47.33Friday night we went to Gingerootz, an asian restaurant that I highly recommend. I had spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce and part of an Appleton Roll while hubby had the sesame chicken.

Saturday night before the hockey game we went to Grazis in Green Bay.

2013-11-09 17.46.19I had the jerk chicken salad which was really tasty in the moment. However, it left me feeling not so great so I’m adding it to my “not FODMAP friendly” list {along with apples, watermelon, and onions}.

2013-11-06 18.09.49I’ve been doing my best to include veggies with most meals, especially dinner. One of my favorite dinners is a quinoa bowl made with (you guessed it) quinoa, sauteed veggies, a wedge of laughing cow and topped with feta and sunflower seeds. Sometimes I’ll add spicy chicken sausage which is really good too.

2013-11-12 17.39.44Last night I made Skinnytaste’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I don’t have an immersion blender so I wasn’t able to get it as soupy as I would’ve liked. It came out more chunky, but still tasted really good! I added broccoli slaw to it and topped it off with shredded cheese, bacon, and green onion.

pumpkinpancakesI’ve been making strides in eating different breakfasts. My favorite this past week was my banana protein pancakes with pumpkin mixed in. A little extra fiber does the tummy good!

Thanks to Danielle at It’s A Harleyyy Life for tweeting this Low Fat Banana Nut Bread recipe from Skinnytaste! Banana bread sounded so good on Sunday and I just happened to have had ripe bananas on my counter. It’s not a traditional banana bread recipe (some healthier substitutions), but still soooo good.

2013-11-10 14.00.06My food for thought today: I think about what I put in my mouth about 95% of the time. I try to eat my veggies and stay FODMAP free, but life gets in the way sometimes and it’s not always possible. I find it especially difficult when I have to rely on others when eating; for example, if someone else picks a restaurant or during the holidays. My family has been mostly accommodating to my food needs, but I realize it puts a burden on them as well. I struggle with maintaining a balance of not being too rigid and taking risks with some foods to wanting to just eat “safe” foods.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

Do you like being sore after a workout? Who loves sushi? Best kind of baked bread or muffin?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Green Monsters and Veggies Galore

Hope everyone is having a good week! This little guy got a haircut this week! He always looks like a brand new pup when I pick him up from the groomer’s. His hair grows so fast!

murphyIt’s been a colorful, fall week of food in my house. I follow mostly a low fodmap diet and try make my breakfast and lunches primarily fruits and veggies. Here are the food highlights from my week!

foodcollageI always underestimate a good green monster smoothie. I love to have one for breakfast or after a great workout. I’ve saved produce like spinach and kale by freezing it and using it in my smoothies. I hate to think of the produce I used to throw away!

I was excited to use up a jar of peanut butter to make hot oats in a jar! I threw in chia seeds, bananas, cinnamon, and there was obviously peanut butter left in the jar!

My snack between lunch and dinner is usually greek yogurt. I topped Chobani Apple Cinnamon greek yogurt with dehydrated apples and cinnamon. Unfortunately, I probably won’t be eating this again because apples have been giving me stomaches…and they are a no-no on a low fodmap diet due to fructose. Livin’ and learnin’ over here. 

I picked up some vine sweet mini peppers on sale at the grocery store. I’ve never had them before and I’ve been missing out! I love them! They are small, cute, and taste really good by themselves or on a salad.

2013-10-06 13.34.32Every lunch for the last couple weeks has been some form of a spinach salad and a kiwi. I’m obsessed, but I don’t care! Keeps me full and energized throughout my afternoon!

2013-10-03 18.48.41My favorite dinner last week was a saute of mini bell peppers, broccoli slaw, portabella mushrooms, a wedge of laughing cow cheese, and sprinkle of cajun seasonings. It was colorful and delicious.

2013-10-05 19.36.45-1I picked up some pumpkin spice M&Ms to bake with. I was feeling some oatmeal cookies and decided to give a Martha Stewart Living recipe a try. They turned out really good! Not too hard and I like the subtle taste of the pumpkin spice M&Ms.

I have a couple late nights at work ahead of me tonight and tomorrow night for parent/teacher conferences. I’m a busy speech bee that’s for sure! On the plus side though, I’m able to leave at 9:30am on Friday and my hubby and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary this weekend! Have a great Wednesday, friends!

I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday! Make sure to check out what everyone is eating lately!

What was your favorite dessert this week?

Are you using any seasonal produce in your recipes?

Easiest Pumpkin Muffins on the Planet

Well, it’s almost fall as we all know. 🙂 Seems like you are either on the pumpkin train or you’re not. Guess what? I AM! 

2013-09-15 16.36.30

I look forward to making these muffins every fall and while I could make them at any time of the year, there’s something extra special about pumpkin muffins in fall. It’s the ambiance of the season that makes these taste so much better. Another plus, they really are the easiest muffins to make besides going out and buying your own.

I originally found these muffins on Hungry Girl’s website. There are many possible variations (i.e., spice cake mix, devil’s food cake, etc), so if you’ve tried a different version with good results, let me know!

Carrot Cake Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 box carrot cake mix (I used Betty Crocker)
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 a bag of mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Do not add anything else. Spray mini muffin pan with non-stick spray liberally. Fill mini muffin tin 3/4 full with batter. Bake in the oven for 16 minutes. Let cool.

2013-09-15 16.37.04

I make mini muffins because then I can have two and still think in my head, “It’s like having one big muffin.” I love mini things; mini candy bars, mini chocolate chips, mini muffins. No research behind this, but I definitely think they taste better than those regular size muffins.

Because these muffins are actually made with cake mix, I try to think of them more like eating a piece of “cake”; meaning, I eat them as a dessert rather than a muffin the morning. However, if chocolate chips and pumpkin are your thing in the morning, by all means eat them as a muffin for breakfast. 🙂

Have a great Thursday friends! So close to the weekend 🙂

What’s your favorite kind of muffin?