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!

I Heart Squash Season

Happy middle of the week my fellow health & fitness nuts. While most bloggers hold up their kids for photos, I like to hold up my dog. Don’t judge. 🙂

2013-10-27 16.26.20I’m linking up today to What I Ate Wednesday via Jenn at Peas and Crayons. I take back what I said last week, WIAW is my favorite link up!

2013-10-29 06.19.51I’m trying to mix up my breakfasts more, however, I’m pretty stuck on oatmeal. I love how warm it is for these chilly mornings and it never fails to fill me up. I’ve “tried” to mix up my oats by adding Skippy Dark Chocolate peanut butter instead of regular peanut butter (I know, huge change). I definitely have some searching to do for good oatmeal add-ins! Some fruits I can’t add because they’re not low-FODMAP (like apples/pears). I’m thinking of joining in A Dash of Meg’s November breakfast challenge (i.e., different breakfast every morning). I could really use it!

2013-10-27 16.32.37My snacks lately have been fruit filled. I love greek yogurt topped with frozen berries.

spaghettisquashAfter putting off this dinner a couple times last week, I finally made Skinnytaste’s Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese. At the last farmer’s market, I picked up two huge spaghetti squash. The bake turned out really well, but I thought it could’ve used more “crunch.” With some of the leftovers I added cut up peppers, more spinach, and sunflower seeds. I love being able to buy local squash and make a great dinner from it. It just makes me feel good to support our local farmers.

2013-10-29 18.25.56Are you sick of seeing my feet yet? I hope not! Better than my sweaty face. I got in a couple miles on the treadmill last night before Group Centergy. Like I’ve said in the past, I’ve obsessed with Centergy. I will never, ever, ever give it up. Never. You can’t make me. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful day and do something that your future self will thank you for!

What are your favorite oatmeal add-ins? Have you been cooking with any seasonal veggies? Favorite workout this week?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

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Banana Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start! I’m thankful we’re halfway through the week because mine has been super busy with lots of meetings and paperwork. Boo.

We pretty much ran out of everything in our fridge/freezer last week, so my usual oatmeal in the morning was a no-go (i.e., no almond milk). I’m addicted to oatmeal with almond milk, chia seeds, pumpkin butter, and banana. Mmmmmm. With a side of coffee, of course.

2013-10-01 06.27.30Instead, I decided to try making protein pancakes. I like to eat something filling in the morning because I hate hunger pains mid-morning. My therapy schedule is pretty “go, go, go” so I don’t have a lot of time to sit and eat a snack. I try to eat a Kashi chewy or KIND bar at 10, but somedays it’s 11 or 11:30 before I have a chance to eat something.

These pancakes are filling, quick to make, and taste delicious!

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Banana Cinnamon Protein Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of quick cooking oats
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 TB chia seeds

Mash the banana and egg together until combined. Mix in oats, chia seeds, and cinnamon. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a skillet (medium heat). Wait until bubbles appear, then flip pancake. Sides should be a golden/dark brown.

Makes 2-4 pancakes (depending on how large you like them)

*FODMAP friendly for those of us on a Low-Fodmap diet

Top with anything that floats your boat! I used peanut butter, but you can add nuts, syrup, almond butter, pumpkin butter, greek yogurt, pretty much anything!

Side note…

Hey fellow bloggers, did you know that it’s now October? I’m relatively new to blogging, so I never knew a new month was such a big deal in blogland! Pretty sure almost every post I read yesterday mentioned the month changing. Yes, we know. 🙂 Yes, it’s amazing, but it also means winter is coming and that’s not cool.

I also saw this quote floating around Twitter…hilarious because it’s so true! And I’ll admit I’m one of those girls (just minus the latte and add “coffee”)!

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Have a great day friends! 

What’s your favorite filling breakfast? Are you in favor of Fall or is it over done on blogs?

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! 

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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.

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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?

WIAW #2

Hope you’re off to wonderful Wednesday! I’ve made the transition back to work and I’m still alive! I am the kind of person who loves and needs a consistent routine, so going back to work isn’t so bad. It has been great to see all my coworkers again. I work with some amazing people who truly care about the success and well being of the kids in their class. Woohoo for teachers!!

Today’s post is What I Ate Wednesday numero dos. Thanks again to Jenn at Peas and Crayons for hosting!

First up, not an eat, but a drink. I am loving Dunkin Donuts iced coffee lately. I am a iced coffee “newbie” so I’m still unsure exactly how to order it (does it or does it not automatically come with skim milk?), but it usually turns out okay. I’d rather drink an iced coffee later in the day than hot coffee. And every time I go there it’s $0.99! Score!

coffee

My husband was actually the one to research and buy a dehydrator for us. I was skeptical at first. I’ve bought gadgets/small appliances and then never used them. I hate to have things in the cupboards just taking up room. I am happy to report I have been loving our dehydrator! It’s so easy to use. My favorite foods to dehydrate are zucchini, bananas, strawberries, and apples. Dehydrated fruit is so easy to pack up and travel with. I’ve been eating banana and apple chips on their own, in oatmeal, and on top of toast.

2013-08-26 15.00.232013-08-26 20.06.48I have been craving fresh, crisp salads lately. Sometimes I find that I’m thirsty and the water in the veggies helps to quench my thirst (and water does too :)). I love the versatility of salads and I usually just grab whatever veggies are currently in my fridge. Veggies in this salad included grilled and marinated portabella mushrooms, hard boiled egg, cucumber, shredded carrots, sliced almonds, and lots ‘o spinach. I could seriously eat this every night.

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Isn’t it pretty?

I’m always up for trying a new recipe. In the blogosphere overnight oats are very popular. I tried them a while back with blah results. I’ve always been a hot oatmeal kind of girl. Because I was in need of some inspiration in the kitchen and was looking to try something different, I gave overnight oats another shot. I tweaked this recipe from Caffeinated Runner.

Overnight Oats

  • 1/3 cup of oatmeal
  • 1 container Activia Blueberry Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 TB chia seeds
  • 1/2 Clif bar
  • Blueberries
  • Scoop of peanut butter

Combine the oatmeal, yogurt, and chia seeds in a container and let sit overnight. In the morning add blueberries, peanut butter, and top with a crushed Clif bar.

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I used 1/2 cup of oats and it was a little dry. Did it completely change me over to cold oats? Nope, but it wasn’t bad and I’d try some variation of it again. It’s nice to change things up and eat something cold when it’s so hot and humid out right now!

What have you been eating? Any new, easy recipes I should know about? I’ve been stuck in a breakfast rut lately…help please. 🙂 

Gluten Free Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread

Good morning! How’s your Tuesday going? I am marking the days until I go back to work (ek, 2 weeks!). I’m an SLP in an elementary school and have really been enjoying my summer off!

Last week hubby and I picked up some huge, plump zucchini at the farmer’s market. Although I am a fan of zucchini chips and we just ordered a dehydrator off of Amazon, I was looking for something else to make with my veggie. I took to pinterest and found a recipe that looked easy to modify.

Find the original recipe from everydayfoodstorage.net here.

bread2

A baking element went kaput in our oven last week, so luckily my dad lives close by and let me use his oven. We are just getting our oven back today, a whole week later! I know, how did I survive without baking? It was hard, let me tell you.

This bread turned out so well! I cooked it in my dad’s oven, but didn’t leave him any because I wasn’t sure how it would taste. I replaced the whole wheat flour in the original recipe with oat flour (I grind my own). I am not completely gluten free, I just try to limit the amount of gluten I consume. My oats are not certified GF, but make sure yours are if you have to eat GF. I also replaced the egg with a chia egg (I TB chia seeds + 3 TB water). Was this necessary? No, not at all, but I love trying something new/different in recipes. This was my first attempt at baking with a chia “egg.” I was pleasantly surprised with the result! The bread is very moist from the zucchini and tastes sweet, but not too sweet. I am definitely going to make these into mini muffins ASAP. I’m slightly in love with mini muffins. They’re so small and cute!

Recipe, please:

GF Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 c. applesauce
  • 3/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. oat flour (grind about 1 3/4 c. of oats)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • chia egg (I T chia seeds + 3 T water, let sit for 15 minutes to thicken)
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 c. walnuts for topping
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 8x4x2 inch bread pan with non-stick spray.
  • With electric mixer, mix together butter, applesauce, and sugar. Beat until smooth. In another bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, put aside. Add chia egg and shredded zucchini to wet mixture until mixed. Add the flour mixture to wet mixture until just combined.
  • Pour batter into bread pan and top with walnuts. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let sit about 10 minutes to cool.
  • Enjoy! You can add butter or jam to slices, or eat by itself.

bread4

I’m always a fan of recipes where I have all the ingredients on hand. This bread was very easy to throw together and my hubby gave it a thumbs up! He had no idea there wasn’t AP flour or an egg in the bread.

What have you been baking lately? Do you always stick to the recipe exactly or do you like to make recipes your own?