Posts tagged: eggs

Breakfast Casserole with Mushrooms and Asparagus

By Katie, 5:01 am

As I’ve mentioned before, I usually opt for sweet breakfasts over savory ones. Truth be told, I usually opt for sweet anything over savory anything. ;-) But I’ve discovered that sometimes a savory breakfast is better because it often involves more protein, and hence keeps me feeling full longer. It also helps me get in a serving or two of veggies, which is rare in my standard, sweet morning meals.

While this breakfast casserole is very simple to make, it’s not the fastest meal to whip up…probably more of a lazy-weekend-morning breakfast than an out-the-door-workday kind of thing. But it does keep well in the refrigerator – not to mention it makes six hearty servings – so you could always make it on the weekend and then just give it a quick spin in the microwave throughout the week.

To make this breakfast casserole, I simply sauteed some asparagus, mushrooms, and spinach in a little bit of olive oil. Then I layered the veggies in a prepared cassrole dish and topped them with mozzarella cheese. On top of that I poured a mixture of beaten eggs, egg whites, and milk, then popped it in the oven until the eggs were set and the top was beginning to brown – about 45 minutes.

Perhaps the best thing about this recipe is that it’s basically an (almost) blank canvas; it’s the foundation upon which you can build all sorts of delicious variations. Don’t like mushrooms? (GASP! 8-O ) You can easily sub in another veggie. Want something more fancy? Swap the mozzarella for goat cheese. Love bacon as much as this lady? Cook some up and throw it in! (Next time I’ll add a few chopped Morningstar Farms breakfast sausage patties, which I’m currently loving.)

Breakfast Casserole with Mushrooms and Asparagus
Adapted from In Good Taste
Makes 6 hearty portions

Ingredients
1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
6 eggs
6 egg whites (I used the equivalent of liquid whites from a carton)
2 tbsp milk
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375º. Spray a 9 x 13 glass casserole dish with nonstick spray.

2. Heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high, then add the asparagus and saute about 5 minutes. Spread the asparagus pieces into a single layer in the casserole dish.

3. Add the remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil to the pan. Saute the mushrooms for 5 minutes or so, then add the spinach and cook until wilted, about a minute more.

4. Layer mushrooms and spinach on top of asparagus in the casserole dish, then top with shredded mozzarella.

5. In a medium bowl, beat 6 eggs, then add egg whites and milk and whisk until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and pour over vegetables and cheese.

6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until eggs are set and the top of the casserole is beginning to brown.

What’s your favorite savory breakfast?

AND

Do you ever prepare your upcoming breakfasts over the weekend, so during the week it’s just grab-and-go? I’ve heard of people making a whole batch of oatmeal or muffins, which sounds like a good idea to me!

Asparagus Quiche

By Katie, 10:02 am

Is anyone else very excited about local asparagus???

I debated posting this recipe for Asparagus Quiche because I’m not quite sure it turned out properly. But it tasted quite good, and I figured that if I shared the original recipe and how I modified it, some other cooks out there might be able to explain where I went astray.

This Asparagus Quiche was the joint venture of mother and daughter. I love that I took up an interest in cooking because it allows us to have some fun together in the kitchen. Wearing cute aprons, no less! ;-)

The problem, however, was that this was the first time either of us worked with puff pastry. The recipe said to roll out one sheet of puff pastry dough and fit it into a large pan without stretching it. We got the dough as thin as we could, but there was no way it was spanning the pan. So we ended up using two puff pastry sheets, overlapping them a bit, which seemed like a fine solution until we took our first bites and realized the bottom of the quiche was still a bit doughy. :-(

So I guess my question is, when using puff pastry sheets, are you supposed to roll them out until they are really really thin?

Besides that, though, the quiche was delicious!

This would be a fun recipe for a brunch get-together!

Asparagus Quiche
From USA Weekend (with my changes in italics)
Serves 8 as a side, 6 as a main dish

Ingredients
1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-in pieces
5 green onions, sliced thin
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed (we used two)
3 eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup sour cream (we used plain Greek yogurt)
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1.5 cups grated Swiss cheese (you could cut this back if you wanted)

1. Preheat oven to 400º.

2. Toss asparagus and green onions with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

3. Roll pastry on a lightly floured surface into an 11-x-16 inch rectangle (we couldn’t get it this thin; I was too afraid it would just rip!). Fit into a 10-x-15 inch jellyroll pan, making sure the pastry is not stretched.

4. Evenly distribute asparagus/onion mixture over pastry. Bake on lowest oven rack 12-15 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, milk, sour cream or Greek yogurt, tarragon, and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper.

6. Remove pastry from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300º. Pour egg mixture evenly over asparagus. Sprinkle with cheese.

7. Put quiche back into the oven on the upper-middle rack. Bake until filling is just set, 20-25 minutes.

8. Turn on broiler; broil until cheese bubbles, about 2 minutes. (We skipped this step; it seemed unnecessary.)

9. Remove quiche from oven and let rest a few minutes before cutting and serving.

Have you worked with puff pastry before? Do you know what we did wrong?

AND

Do you like asparagus? What’s your favorite way to eat it? I absolutely love it, despite the fact that it gives my pee a distinct smell. (Sorry if that was “too much information,” but if you’ve ever eaten asparagus you know what I’m talking about! ;-) )

Enjoying Old Town

By Katie, 5:31 pm

A reader and I have been chatting through email recently about the D.C. area (she might be moving there). I pretty much told her she can’t go wrong with D.C. or the surrounding areas – they’re all cute and hip and fun! I recently learned that Old Town Alexandria, VA is no exception. Have any of you ever been there before?

Dave’s work is putting him up in a hotel this week so that he can attend a conference. Since my agenda basically consisted of writing a research paper – which can just as easily be done in Alexandria as in Baltimore – I decided to tag along for part of the time! :-D

When we got to the hotel, the staff’s computers weren’t functioning and we had to wait a good fifteen minutes to check in. To make up for the “inconvenience,” they upgraded our room. And an upgrade it was!!!

I felt like Tina snapping photos of the hotel room. ;-)

Yes, I took a photo of the bathroom. It was HUGE! The shower had TWO shower heads and a bench…in case you got tired and needed to rest after shampooing. :lol:

And you know how when you walk into most hotel rooms, you go through a very narrow area until the room opens up? Well this room was the opposite of narrow!

And a great hotel is bound to have a great fitness center, right?

(Sorry for the graininess…it’s an iPhone photo. :-? )

I had an awesome workout in this gym! Something about a different environment – with new equipment and a different set-up – is invigorating to me. In addition to the cardio machines, the back room had plenty of strength training equipment, a yoga mat, and even a TV and some yoga DVDs, if you were so inclined.

While Dave was conferencing, I worked on finished my paper, then spent the rest of my day enjoying the beautiful weather and the beautiful town.

Oh, and SHOPPING!!! I had myself a good (but reasonable!) time in the Gap Outlet and in Ann Taylor Loft. Came away with some great SKIRTS!

I do wear shorts a lot in the summer, but for some reason in warmer weather I much prefer skirts. They seem cooler to me…more ventilation, perhaps? ;-)

Hmmmm this skirt doesn’t look too flattering in this photo. But I think it’s the way I’m standing. It’s actually really pretty!

And I absolutely ADORED this dress from the front, but from the side it totally made me look pregnant. 8-O

Ok, enough about hotels and clothes! Here are some of the noteworthy edibles…

Breakfast

After my workout I hit up The Perfect Pita about a block from the hotel.

I got a whole wheat pita with spinach, egg, and cheese.

And some homemade plain yogurt with strawberries.

(After I ordered the yogurt I read a sign that said it was made with whole milk. Back in the day I wouldn’t have touched it after learning that, but I was proud to find myself thinking, “Well, it’s not my first choice, but a little whole milk won’t kill me.” That may not seem like a big deal, but it shows HUGE progress for me in terms of my disordered eating thoughts.)

Lunch

Lunch was enjoyed while soaking up some sunshine, sitting in front of this beautiful scene. 8-)

I had a mega-salad with mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, roasted red peppers, sprouts, grilled chicken, and almonds, all tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.

I supplemented the salad with some food I brought with me – an apple and a LARABAR.

And here was my dining companion. ;-)

Dinner

We were actually in Alexandria for two nights, so there are two dinners. The first night we ate at an adorable little Greek restaurant with a really nice garden patio in the back. I had this gorgeous plate of veg topped generously with feta.

The second night we kept it simple with a cafeteria-style French cafe/bakery. Here’s what I ordered: a half sandwich, a cup of soup, and some fruit. Here’s what I got:

A cup of soup, a full sandwich, fruit, and two random sides.

The soup was your standard vegetable soup, but it was seasoned well.

The sandwich was nothing to write home about. Tomatoes, hummus, and pesto on “sourdough.” I ate half.

Plus about half of these sides: spinach/pepper/onion/mushroom salad, roasted red potatoes, and fruit salad.

Dessert

Nothing like a little dessert to make up for a lackluster dinner, am I right? Vanilla/Chocolate Twist frozen yogurt topped with chocolate sprinkles (or jimmies, depending on whom you ask ;-) ).

Other Recent Eats of Note…

Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats!

This bowl contained:

  • oats cooked in water
  • banana slices (added at the beginning)
  • pinch salt
  • cinnamon
  • big glob of natural chunky peanut butter
  • big glob of local grape preserves
  • sprinkling of sliced almonds

Great combo!

Pure bar.

I like these bars a lot. They remind me of LARABARs, and the ingredient list is pretty darn good. I just wish an added sweetener weren’t number two on the list, because I don’t think it’s really necessary.

And some more dairy deliciousness…chocolate chip cookie dough. :-D

Whew! I apologize for the long post – just had too much I wanted to share!

Do you like working out in hotel fitness centers? I love it! Like I said, there’s something about a new environment that helps me get a great workout!

And for the ladies, do you prefer skirts or shorts in the summer?

A Canon and an Omelet

By Katie, 4:16 pm

Howdy, folks!

I want to take a brief moment and mention this New York Times article on photographing food that Tiffany posted yesterday. It discusses the huge phenomenon that visual food logs have become, and not just within the realm of healthy living blogs. People everywhere are using photos of their eats as a way of documenting their lives.

The article discusses several reasons why this trend has taken off. Some people say it encourages them to be more adventurous in their dietary choices, and others say it serves as a source of motivation and accountability when trying to improve eating habits. Many photograph their food as a way of sharing their culinary talents and cooking ideas, while others enjoy it because a photo of a meal is essentially a photo of a memory.

But the author also notes that the habit can turn ugly; some people, especially those with obsessive-compulsive tendencies, can become consumed by the practice; they freak out if an undocumented morsel passes their lips.

Reading the article was especially interesting for me because I’ve been re-considering the way that I document my eating here on Health for the Whole Self. I have found that most of the time I really enjoy documenting my eats; I love food and eating, I love sharing it with others, and I’m really starting to love photography. However, my current set-up – which documents a specific day’s worth of food – is beginning to threaten my enjoyment of the process because on the days I have designated “photo food days,” I feel obligated to whip out my Canon.

But there’s an even more important issue at play. I’m a bit worried that documenting all of my food on specific days is interfering with my practice of Intuitive Eating. I’ve found that, in honor of the blog, I get ideas for interesting meals and then plan to eat them on a day when I’m photographing all of my eats. But such planning is kind of the opposite of Intuitive Eating, in that it doesn’t allow me to honor my specific cravings in any given moment.

So I’ve decided to change it up just a bit. I’ll still be showing a lot of my food, but the posts may be a bit less structured; they won’t consistently be a play-by-play of everything I ate in a given day. Instead, they’ll be a compilation of meals and snacks that I photographed because doing so appealed to me at that time, or because I truly believed they were worth sharing. So, for example, if dinner was really delicious and I want to share it, I will – even if I haven’t designated that day as a “What I Ate” day. Does that make sense?

I think this structure will actually allow the blog to be a bit more creative, which might be fun! Also, I think it allows me to honor myself and my Intuitive Eating journey while at the same time honoring the purpose of documenting my food in the first place – to share with others what a balanced diet really means to me.

Whew! That got a little longer than I intended, sorry, folks! Congrats if you made it this far.

So here’s my first little compilation of recent eats!

Breakfast

First up – my very first OMELET!!!

Yes, that’s correct, the above omelet is the first one I EVER made! Nothing to ooh and ahh over, I suppose, but not too shabby for my first time! ;-)

I filled it with cheese and tomato slices. Next time I will definitely amp up the VEG!

A side o’ berries.

Lunch

Totally random salad I created at the Wegman’s salad bar yesterday.

Containing:

  • spring mix and Romaine
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • green beans
  • roasted chickpeas
  • pasta salad with a vinegar-based dressing

I added a big dollop of my chunky red bean spread to pump up the protein.

Plus a microwave-baked sweet potato with cinnamon.

Random Snackage

Big bowl of juicy cantaloupe.

Sprinkled with sea salt. Anyone else put salt on their cantaloupe? Everyone in my family does, so I thought it was totally normal until I went to college and my friends informed me that I’m a nuttzo! :lol:

You could win this!

And, in honor of the crazy heat wave my neck of the woods is currently experiencing, some RITA’S!

Gotta run! I’m attending my first session of a Creative Writers Group tonight…EEK! Wish me luck! :-D

If you’re a blogger, do you document all of your food choices? Why or why not?

AND

What’s your favorite flavor of Rita’s? I’m partial to the fruity ones – Twisted Melon and Mango top the list. Although today I heard several people ordering mixtures of two flavors, which I’ve never done before but would like to!

Why Not?

By Katie, 9:50 pm

Hey, everyone! Can I just tell you how much I loved reading your Monday Confessions? :-D Isn’t there something liberating about acknowledging your own imperfections and realizing that others struggle just as much as you do? You all made me feel better about not flossing since apparently a lot of you don’t either! ;-)

Let’s see some food, shall we?

Breakfast

Strawberry-Banana-Almond Overnight Oats!

Last night I combined:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • handful of sliced strawberries

Popped it in the fridge overnight, then added some sliced almonds in the morning. Yummy!

Mid-Morning Snack

Well, before we get to the snack, let’s talk exercise. I went to the gym and did 3.5 miles of hill intervals, and later I did some upper body strength training and a solid ab workout. Three cheers for getting my strength training in even though I didn’t feel like it!

I also have an exciting announcement to make! As you may already know, I’m training to run the 10-Mile Broad Street Run in Philly on May 2. Well, my training plan has me building up to an 11-mile long run, which got me thinking…if I’m in the kind of shape that I can run 11 miles, what’s 2.1 more? So I’ve decided to run the Maryland Half Marathon on May 23!!! When I asked Dave if he thought I should run it, his response was, “Well, why not?” And I thought, “Exactly! WHY NOT?” I want to have more of a “why not?” attitude toward life! :-D

After the gym I went to campus to get some books for a research paper, and picked up some things at Trader Joe’s as well. Snacked on a Clif Z bar in between stops.

In the name of reducing my added sugar intake, I took a look at the ingredients:

Can you read that? Fourth ingredient: Brown Rice Syrup. Fifth ingredient: Tapioca Syrup. Sixth ingredient: Honey. Seventh ingredient: Evaporated Cane Juice Syrup. I don’t think those types of sweeteners are so bad, but it’s just a lot of them! No wonder my beloved Z bars taste so heavenly! At least the sweeteners are organic. :-?

Lunch

I was feeling a mega-salad today.

That glorious bowl contained:

  • spring mix
  • snow peas
  • grape tomatoes
  • red pepper strips
  • small fillet of Honey-Soy Salmon (leftovers from last night’s dinner – recipe forthcoming! It’s delicious!)
  • Pure2Raw Pumpkin Seed Kale crackers
  • dried cherries
  • drizzle of rice vinegar

I got a little picture-happy with that salad, didn’t I? :oops:

I also had a sliced apple with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge (which apparently browned while I photographed the salad!).

Really fresh and satisfying!

And for a little lunch “dessert,” two medjool dates.

Afternoon Snacks

This first snack is a new favorite! I got the idea from some lovely blogger out there, but unfortunately I can’t remember who it was. If you thought of this combo, I thank you immensely!

Wholegrain wrap smothered with hummus and topped with shredded mozzarella. Microwaved for 30 seconds so the cheese got all melt-y and delicious!

I also had two hard-boiled eggs, sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. A classic snack food!

Dinner

Tonight I showed some lovin’ to my slow cooker. Dare I say, the humble slow cooker may be one of my favorite kitchen tools. There’s something so simple and lovely about throwing a bunch of ingredients in, leaving the scene, and returning hours later to the magnificent aroma of a ready-to-eat meal.

Today’s slow cooker recipe: Taco Soup!

I was inspired by this recipe from Cooking with Trader Joe’s. I put the following into the slow cooker:

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 package Taco Seasoning Mix (next time I’d use 1/2 packet)
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1.5 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups chicken broth

I cooked it all on Low for 5 hours, then pulled out the chicken and shredded it. Dave and I topped our Taco Soup with fresh cilantro, crushed tortilla chips, and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

Besides being a tad too hot for my taste, this was amazing! I made a big batch, so there will be plenty of leftovers. :-)

I also had a side salad with spring mix, sprouts, cucumber, carrots, and zucchini.

Evening Snack

A simple dessert.

Fresh fruit with Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter.

And because today was a bit dreary here on the East Coast, I will leave you with some brightness.

Beautiful flowers from the Hubs. :-)

Have you ever run a half marathon? What was your experience like?

AND/OR

Do you have a slow cooker? Do you use it often? What’s your favorite slow cooker dish?

P.S. Check out this awesome Galaxy Granola giveaway!

A [POM] Wonderful Day!

By Katie, 9:33 pm

Hello, all! Hope you had a good day getting back to the grind! :-)

Two quick pieces of housekeeping business. First, I apologize if you tried to visit the site earlier today and were unsuccessful. My server was down for a bit, but all is well now!

Second, I’ve decided to stop naming these posts “What I Ate” because I’m finding it a bit…boring. For you and for me. My original purpose in calling them “What I Ate” was so they could be easily separated from my various other types of posts; I figured some people would want to skip over them, while others would want to read only them and nothing else. That may be the case, but the posts should still be easy to identify. (I’ll continue to categorize them as “What I Ate.”)

Onward to the day’s eats!

Breakfast

For breakfast I tried out the new Bagel Thins that have been all the rage lately.

Toasted whole wheat Bagel Thin with an egg white puff and Laughing Cow cheese.

My verdict: just ok. :-| I mean, I guess they’re pretty good if what you really want is a bagel substitute. But I love bagels, and generally don’t want a substitute! If you’re having a craving for a dense, chewy bagel, I wouldn’t expect these to fill it. Now perhaps my assessment would be different if I tried the Everything variety, which I’ve heard is better than the Whole Wheat.

On the side, four kiwi halves.

I definitely ate the skin on these, which I’ve never done before…that’s not going to hurt me, right?

Mid-Morning Snack

The kind folks at POM Wonderful recently sent me a case of their 100% Pomegranate Juice to sample and review for the blog. I knew pomegranates were both delicious and healthy, but I didn’t realize just how healthy until I took the time to look into it. Did you know that pomegranate juice has more antioxidants than some of the well-known antioxidant superstars, like red wine and green tea? I didn’t either!

I’m actually not a huge juice drinker because most of them aren’t just juice – they’re also added sugars, preservatives, and filler juices. But POM Wonderful juice actually doesn’t have any of that! I enjoyed some on its own last night (watered down a bit, because it’s pretty strong), but today I decided to try using it in other interesting ways.

Like in a smoothie!!! But first, my workout. After breakfast I headed to the Y where I did 3 miles of hill intervals on the treadmill. I actually think my 10-mile race is pretty flat, but I’m still incorporating hill intervals because 1) I need to get over my hatred of inclines and 2) I know hill workouts will just make me even stronger and faster on a flat course. I also did some upper body strength training (shoulders, biceps, triceps, upper back, and chest) and some core work.

Came home and pulled out the blender!

This smoothie was incredibly basic, but it totally hit the spot. It contained:

  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I used Trader Joe’s European-style)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries

Refreshing! :-D

Lunch

Lunch today focused on vegetables. And quite purposefully. At the Women’s Retreat this past weekend, I am certain that more cookies than vegetables passed through my lips. They were all delicious, and I don’t regret a single one of them! But my body definitely needed a good dose of vitamins and nutrients today.

Big beautiful salad containing:

  • mixed dark leafy greens
  • cherry tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • red onion
  • shredded carrots
  • crumbled feta
  • dressing of white balsamic vinegar and a touch of EVOO

I also enjoyed some amazing bread!

When I arrived home from the Retreat, I discovered that Dave had spent his rainy Saturday afternoon making homemade bread…yes, that’s correct. Have I mentioned that I’m 100% certain this man is my soulmate? ;-)

He followed the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day recipe for light wheat bread, which consists of just five simple ingredients: whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, yeast, water, and salt. I was shocked by how amazing this bread tasted with just those ingredients! 8-O

I topped it with some strawberry jam.

It was exactly the meal my body was craving!

Afternoon Snacks

While I was out and about this afternoon, I munched on a Clif Mountain Mix Mojo Bar. Look at how beautiful it looks, balancing on my leg. :lol:

And later, a dried Japanese persimmon (another surprise from the husband!) and a piece of candy a medjool date. Eaten from a K for Katie plate! :-D

Dinner

Dinner was delicious, and it involved more POM Wonderful pomegranate juice!

That would be Scallops with Soba Noodles, Stir-Fry Veggies, and POM-Soy-Ginger Sauce. A mouthful to say, a wonderful mouthful to eat! :-)

Dave and I both ♥ scallops, so we splurged this week and got some. I pan-seared them in a little bit of ginger oil, trying really hard to get the nice brown crust without overcooking them. I was pretty successful I think.

I also boiled some soba (buckwheat) noodles, then added a bag of stir-fry veggies. I tossed the noodles and the veggies with a lovely sauce made from POM juice, balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, soy sauce, ground ginger, and sea salt. (I have exact measurements if anyone is interested! I thought it was perfect; Dave thought it would have been perfect with a touch less balsamic.)

Even though this dish looks pretty sophisticated, the best way to describe it is in rather unsophisticated terms: MAJORLY YUMMY! :-)

Evening Snack

Dinner was filling and satisfying, so I just opted for a small bit of sweetness.

Three dark chocolate candies from a local candy shop called Rheb’s. One was butter cream, another was peanut butter, and another was something gross that I spit out. :-? You win some, you lose some, I guess!

I’m also munching on some red grapes as I finish up this post. Then hopefully getting a good night’s rest before my 7 miler in the morning! :-D

Have you tried POM Wonderful pomegranate juice yet? If so, what do you think of it?

AND

Do you find that after a weekend with too few veggies in sight, your body craves them? Or do you have to force yourself to eat back those vitamins and nutrients?

P.S. Be sure to check back tomorrow when I’ll be hosting my first GIVEAWAY!!! 8-)

What I Ate – 2/4/2010

By Katie, 9:27 pm

It’s almost Friday…THANK GOODNESS! I don’t know about you, but this week has been an absolute ROLLER COASTER for me. I’ll be so relieved when it’s the weekend!

Here’s the quick re-cap of my meals and snacks. :-)

Breakfast

I feel like I ate dessert for breakfast this morning, which isn’t a bad thing! ;-) I enjoyed a lovely bowl of Sweet Potato Pie Oats.

My “dessert” contained:

  • 1/3 cup oats, cooked in 2/3 cup water
  • pinch salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • lots of cinnamon
  • about 1/4 cup sweet potato puree
  • spoonful of PB & Co‘s Mighty Maple peanut butter (peanut butter mixed with maple syrup – yum!)
  • chopped pecans (Allie would be proud!)

That’s pie in a bowl, right there! ;-)

Mid-Morning Snack

Post-breakfast I headed straight to the Y for my workout. I have been blessed with a stomach of steel – as long as the meal isn’t super heavy, I can exercise right after eating no problem. It’s quite convenient! I ran 4 miles steady on the treadmill, plus a quarter mile warm-up and cool-down. While running I saw the news about the earthquake that hit Taiwan this morning, and I got a bit worried because my brother’s girlfriend is currently there visiting her father. But I’ve received word that’s she’s just fine, thank goodness.

After exercising I came home and had one of my favorite snacks.

Half of a whole wheat English muffin topped with an egg white “puff,” if you will, along with some salsa. (I make the egg “puffs” in the microwave – super quick!)

Lunch

I spent the rest of the morning writing a paper for school, which is now complete! Such a great feeling. :-)

I rewarded myself for a job well-done with…pasta!

Whole wheat spaghetti noodles, stir-fry veggie mix, a Quorn chik’n cutlet, and peanut sauce. The sauce was nothing fancy – just natural creamy peanut butter thinned with some nonfat milk. (In the past I’ve also made quick peanut sauces using PB2.)

I went back for more sauce half-way through the bowl. ;-)

(You can’t tell from the photo, but this was a bowl of cold pasta…I love cold noodles!)

Afternoon Snacks

After lunch I worked on some job applications, then got a much needed haircut. Before: way too long, flat, kind of scraggly…blah.

After: much better!

Came home and got my snackage on. :lol:

Two Wasa wholegrain crispbreads topped with cheddar cheese and apricot preserves.

And some juicy orange slices.

Dinner

I’m still having fun finding ways to use all of the tilapia fillets in my freezer. Tonight I checked out the “tilapia” tag on Cara’s Cravings for inspiration. I wanted something quick, and her tilapia tacos seemed perfect!

I ended up steaming my fish fillets because I’d never done that before, and I was in the mood to use my food steamer. :-)

The tacos consisted of tilapia, taco seasoning, Trader Joe’s Peach Salsa, diced avocado, and cilantro – two in soft tortillas and one with CRUNCH! Consumed over a riveting discussion of what the best taco fillings are. My top two are fish and beans, the Hub’s are fish and pork.

Evening Snack

So this was pretty cool! 8-)

That would be banana “soft-serve” ice cream! Except that it’s not really ice cream at all!

Last night I was lamenting the fact that I do not own a food processor, when Dave gently reminded me that my blender came with a small food processor attachment. I instantly knew that I’d be whipping this up the next day!

All I did was throw a frozen banana in the processor and let it run for about 4 minutes, stopping every minute or so to scrape down the sides. The result was a smooth and fluffy banana whose texture very closely resembled that of soft serve. (Gena from Choosing Raw explains the process in more detail if you’re interested.) Topped with some dark chocolate chips for a perfect little dessert! I’m just sad that I only had one frozen banana to use. :-( Next time I will definitely make a bigger quantity!

(Just an FYI: As I’m sitting here writing this post I’m actually feeling a twinge of hunger, so once I hit “Publish” I’ll probably grab a small piece of fruit or some yogurt.)

How do you handle eating before exercise? Do you have a “stomach of steel” like me, or do you have to be careful about timing your meals/snacks around your workouts?

AND

What’s your favorite taco filling? Like I said, fish is definitely my top choice!

What I Ate – 2/16/2010

By Katie, 2:27 pm

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  :-D

Is this week just flying by for anyone else??? The weekend will be here before we know it!

Here’s the play-by-play for yesterday.

Breakfast

Breakfast was extremely delicious! Dave needed to be at work early, so I got up and put together some homemade Egg McMuffin sandwiches for us.

1/3 cup egg whites (I use the kind in a carton), 2 slices deli ham, and 1 slice American cheese on a whole wheat English muffin. Yummy!

It takes me a total of 5 minutes to put this breakfast together, and it tastes just as good better than what you’d get at Dunkin’ Donuts or Mickey D’s. But a little healthier and a lot cheaper! :-D

Plus a handful of grapes.

Mid-Morning Snack

I did some school work while my McMuffin digested, then headed to the Y for my workout. While there, I made an interesting discovery: the treadmills at my gym automatically SHUT OFF when you hit 60 minutes. I never knew this before because this was my first time staying on the revolving machine for that long! Is this common, or is it just the treadmills at my particular gym?

I hate the idea of long treadmill workouts, but the fact that it’s still icy around here – and most of the side-walks aren’t cleared of the snow yet – means that the treadmill it is! I did a total of 60 minutes: 50 minutes running with a 5-minute walking warm-up and cool-down. Thank goodness for ipods, right?!?! ;-)

Came home, forced myself to chug a bottle of aqua (I am horrible at staying hydrated!), then sipped on a big mug of hot tea.

Cool mug, right? I bought it last weekend at Eastern Market in D.C. from this lovely couple who hand-makes some absolutely gorgeous pottery.

While sipping my tea, I snacked on an overly-ripe persimmon, which was messy but still quite good.

Lunch

Lunch was veggie-rific!!! (Yes, that is a word. ;-) )

Sautéed broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms.

Drizzled with balsamic vinegar that I heated until it was reduced to a glaze consistency.

On the side, a piece of whole wheat pita bread smothered with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge.

And a big bowl of greens topped with a clementine and a blob of cottage cheese.

Arranged all pretty for the camera. ;-)

I love meals in which veggies are the base because you get so much more VOLUME…more bang for your buck, if you will. :-)

Afternoon Snacks

My eating schedule was a little different yesterday because I had night class. Generally I try to snack my way through and hold off on dinner until I get home. (I hate eating dinner super early.)

Before I went to class I broke into a new (to me) flavor of Chobani Greek Yogurt…POMEGRANATE! I’ve been dying to try this flavor, but just now found it! YES! :-D

Of course I added a little something to it. ;-) A couple of frozen blueberries and some semisweet mini morsels.

Midway through class I enjoyed another new (to me) snack: this 18 Rabbits bar. I really liked the combination of figs, cherries, and pumpkin seeds, and the hint of coconut was nice. This bar, however, was pretty pricey, so I don’t think it will become a regular part of my stash.

Dinner

By the time I got home from class around 9:00 at night, my tummy was rumbling!!! I generally do a good job of planning out all of our dinners for the week (it saves us money and ensures we’re eating more whole foods and less processed stuff), but I always leave class nights open. Most nights I come home and just rip into the first thing that sounds appealing!

Last night it was Mac ‘N’ Cheese! :-D

Annie’s Homegrown Organic Whole Wheat Shells & White Cheddar. I like Annie’s Mac ‘N’ Cheese products because the ingredients lists aren’t terrifying; this one is just whole wheat pasta, cheddar cheese, whey, and salt. I’ve never looked closely at a box of Kraft, but somehow I think it might frighten me! 8-O

I was rushing a bit since I was so hungry, and I accidentally made the cheese sauce a little too liquid-y. Oh well, still tasted good!

“Healthified” with some broccoli and carrots that I quickly steamed in the microwave.

I scarfed down this plate! :mrgreen:

And then ended the day on a sweet note with a small serving of vanilla fudge.

YOUR TURN! :-)

Do you have any convenience foods – like my homemade Egg McMuffin – that you try to make at home instead of purchasing, either for the sake of your health or your wallet?

What I Ate – 2/6/2010

By Katie, 8:11 am

Yesterday I awoke to this craziness:

We’re breaking some Baltimore records with this blizzard! Friday night we even experienced thundersnow, or – as I like to call it – snunder. The crazy combination of snow and thunder. Wild! 8-)

Here’s what I ate throughout the snow day!

Breakfast

Over two feet of snow might encourage some people to linger in bed late into the morning, but not us! We were up bright and early. Actually, Dave only pulled himself out of bed in order to watch a soccer game being played in England (and hence aired on American television at 7:30 a.m.). I decided to get up with him and do a quickie workout, knowing full well that if I didn’t, I’d be stir-crazy with energy by late afternoon. I did Bobbi’s Mini Living Room Bootcamp Session #1, from the blog nhershoes. It was a fun change of pace!

When I got out of bed I really wasn’t hungry, but I ate a handful of grapes to boost me through the bootcamp session.

Afterward I got started on my real breakfast, which was a bit more exciting than usual. I wanted to take the time to make something more interesting, since the regular Saturday morning routine of exercise + farmers’ market was obviously out of the question. I had a lot of produce that needed to be used up, so I whipped up this veggie-rific creation.

Vegetable Frittata made with eggs, Mexican-blend cheese, spinach, tomatoes, red pepper, sweet onion, mushrooms, scallions, salt, and pepper. It’s quite colorful, no? :-D

I was actually quite proud of this because I didn’t follow a set recipe (which I usually always do, but with frittatas it’s totally unnecessary!). AND I had to adapt upon discovering that I do not own an oven-proof skillet. :-? (Frittatas are usually made first in the skillet, and then baked. I just baked mine.) But it came out quite lovely! :-D

You simply cannot go wrong with the combination of eggs, cheese, and veggies!

Enjoyed with 1/2 a whole wheat English muffin topped with strawberry preserves.

This breakfast just felt special.

Lunch

Lunch was leftovers!

Friday’s night dinner was Crockpot Salsa Chicken, which is definitely one of my go-to meals for simplicity plus tastiness! It’s just chicken breasts topped with taco seasoning, salsa, a little bit of cream of mushroom soup, and cilantro (you can also add beans, corn, pretty much anything!), then cooked on high for 3-4 hours (or low for 6-7 hours – see how versatile! :-D ).

I happen to love taking leftovers and turning them into a sandwich (I truly believe pretty much anything tastes better with/on bread!). So I thoroughly enjoyed two medium-sized pieces of salsa chicken on an Arnold’s sandwich thin.

(After the photo session I ended up shredding the chicken a little bit to make it easier to eat.)

On the side, apple slices.

And some grape tomatoes.

This lunch was filling!

Dave ended up finishing off our Trader Joe’s Vegetable Root Chips at lunch…and then Hamilton made a sincere effort to lick the crumbs from the bottom of the bag!

No cats were harmed in the creation of this photo. :lol:

Afternoon Snack

This afternoon marked the first installment of Operation Eat Bars. I am seriously addicted to buying bars – but I can’t eat them nearly as fast as I buy them! It’s a real problem. I mean, check out this overflowing stash!

(Feel free to express your horror/outrage/amazement/bewilderment in comments. ;-) )

To start lightening the load, I snacked on a Yogurt Honey Peanut Balance Bar.

I liked that the inside had a nougat-like texture.

It was tasty, but that was probably because it had a high amount of added sugar. :-| I sort of felt like I was eating a candy bar instead of a “nutrition energy bar,” you know?

Dinner

I usually don’t plan elaborate dinners for weekends in an effort to eat what we have and not waste so much food (still a challenge!). So either Saturday night, Sunday night, or both have become known – Kath style – as COTF (Clean Out The Fridge) nights. Tonight we had a bunch of shrimp to use, plus some more Mexican-blend cheese that needed to be consumed. Enter BBQ Shrimp Pizza!

Flatbread for the crust, topped with BBQ sauce, Mexican-blend cheese, and shrimp.

The cheese got kind of gross-looking when it melted, but it tasted awesome!

Definitely needed to add some GREEN! I did so in the form of a spinach salad with cucumbers, drizzled with cider vinegar.

Evening Snack

The shrimp pizza actually kept me really full, but when Dave claimed that our last mango had reached the perfect ripeness, I couldn’t resist a few sweet slices. Plus some Greek yogurt for dipping. :-)

I’m off to wake up my hubby for breakfast! (Leftover veggie frittata – YES!!! Another special breakfast!) :-D

What do you make when you want a special breakfast?

What I Ate – 1/25/2010

By Katie, 8:05 pm

I hope you had a good Monday yesterday! Mine was quite delicious. :-D

Breakfast

Like many of you, yesterday I awoke to dreary rain and wind. Yuck. I felt the need to combat the weather with something sunny and yummy, say, EGGS!

While I would have preferred something really cheery – perhaps sunny side up? – Dave and I were a bit rushed. So I went with an egg white and cheese sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin, which hit the spot.

Plus some fresh fruit.

Mid-Morning Snack

After breakfast I headed to the YMCA for 30 minutes of speed intervals on the treadmill, which actually went really well considering I had an entire egg sandwich in my stomach! After exercising and getting ready for the day, I headed out to run some errands. I packed a small snack to take along for a very important reason: one of my errands was grocery shopping. And the # 1 rule of grocery shopping is this: don’t do it hungry! It’s bad for your waistline and it’s bad for your budget.

So before I went into Trader Joe’s, I had a few raw almonds and some dried apricots.

Lunch

My kitchen is currently overflowing with fresh produce that is crying out to be enjoyed. So for lunch I did one of my favorite things: raided the refrigerator, grabbing everything that looked appealing and throwing it together in a bowl.

Contents of the salad bowl:

  • Boston lettuce
  • Pan-fried tofu
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Orange slices
  • Plum
  • Crumbled feta
  • Drizzle of seasoned rice vinegar
  • Handful of Kashi crackers (toasted asiago flavor – yum!)

I never worry if the contents of my mega salads don’t exactly “go” together, and somehow it always ends up tasting good!

I also had a few slices of roasted buttercup squash (leftovers from the previous night’s dinner). This was my first time trying buttercup squash, and I really like it! I have yet to find a winter squash (or summer, for that matter) that I haven’t liked. (I’m eager to try a Kabocha, but I can’t find one!)

Very satisfying lunch!

Mid-Afternoon Snack

Well, this was actually more like an early evening snack. Before I started cooking dinner I munched on some whole wheat pita bread wedges dipped in roasted red pepper hummus. This is because of another very important rule: don’t cook when hungry! Cooking on an empty stomach = so many “taste tests” that you’re not even hungry for dinner when it’s ready!

Dinner

Dinner was divine! I followed this Real Simple recipe for Turkey and Bean Chili, with a few changes. I planned on using ground turkey, but then I found local ground beef on sale at the farmers’ market (from Woolsey Farm in Churchville, MD). So I went with that instead. I also doubled the recipe because I knew it would make great leftovers for the week, and I also wanted to freeze some. Not to mention making a giant pot of chili is just FUN! :-D

This meal was SO GOOD!

Big bowl of chili topped with avocado, plain Greek yogurt (tastes just like sour cream!), and corn bread (not homemade – don’t judge!).

Dave and I were literally saying “Mmmmmmmm” as we ate.

I mean, I hated it, obviously. ;-)

Evening Snack

Dessert was one of my new obsessions. If it doesn’t look appealing to you, blame my lousy photography skills (or, more accurately, the fact that my photos are coming from my cell phone).

After dinner I melted some dark chocolate, dipped the banana into it, and popped it in the freezer for an hour or so until the chocolate formed a hard shell. A perfect little treat!

What’s your favorite kind of chocolate-covered fruit? Bananas, strawberries, oranges – so many possibilities! :-)

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