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Archive for February, 2010

For some reason last night I was CRAVING eggs. I had a very breakfasty day starting with cold cereal and vanilla soy milk with fruit for breakfast and an almond/pumpkin butter sandwich and more fruit for lunch. It was EXTREMELY cold and wet out so I needed something warm and cozy for dinner.  To continue with my breakfast streak and add some veggies to my diet, my dinner solution was an inspiration from Musings of the Granola Girl: Veggie “Frittata” with a Berry Salad. I apologize for the poor quality iphone picture:

Frittata : 3 egg whites, milk, heaping handful of spinach, 4 baby bella mushrooms, 1/2 Roma tomato, 1/4 red bell pepper, generous handful of Parmesan cheese. Whisk together the egg whites and milk and let them set in a small fry pan. In a separate pan sautee mushrooms and spinach. Once the eggs have become firm, top with sauteed mushrooms and spinach, fresh tomato and red pepper slices, and top with cheese. Remove Fritatta  from the pan (the pan I used wasn’t oven safe), place on a lined baking sheet and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and the tomatoes become slightly crisp. Finish with cracked black pepper and hot sauce.

Berry Salad: mixed greens, 4 sliced strawberries, handful of blueberries, ~1 TBS toasted sliced almonds, cucumber, clover sprouts, balsamic vinaigrette.

It was almost like a pizza with an egg base. I let the eggs set up for long enough so the bottom had a nice crispy crust to it, which was a perfect base for the copious amount of toppings I used. The salad was a perfect contrast to my savory dish, and provided an elegant  dinner feel to my breakfast main.

Loving Breakfast,

Nora

Do you like having breakfast for dinner? What is your favorite choice?

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I am by no means a vegetarian, but from time to time I do appreciate a good tofu or tempeh protein source in my meal. I have to emphasize the word “good” because I have had some bad tofu experiences in the past where it was over cooked or poorly flavored. Tofu essentially takes on whatever flavor you give it.  I have always been a bit intimidated by those huge blocks of tofu at the grocery store. It seemed like such an effort to prepare: pressing all of the water out of the block, slicing, marinading, preparing etc. I went to some websites that called to press the block with a cheese cloth for hours and then let it marinade overnight. NO WAY do I have that kind of time. I decided to keep it simple. I took a block of firm tofu and pressed out as much water as I could, using  paper towels. After this I divided the block into four sections (serving size is about 1/4 of a 16oz block) and cut each section into about 4 thin sections. I pressed the liquid out a bit more from each slice, and placed them into a glass baking dish. I coated each piece with a mixture of low-sodium soy sauce and rice wine vinegar and lightly dusted each piece with cumin. I baked it at about 400 for 20-25 minutes, turning once until firm. I completed the dish, making Baked Tofu with Roasted Sweet Potato and Brussel Sprout Wedges.It came out surprisingly well and was extremely filling. The soy/vinegar marinade was flavorful but not too intense and went nicely with the fresh spinach and carrot salad with sautéed mushrooms, onions and red peppers that I topped it with. The tofu had a meaty texture, which I prefer. I find sometimes that tofu can become rubbery or be too soft and have a cheese like consistency.

Maybe, I’ll be come a vegetarian? That is extremely unlikely, but it was a nice twist to repetitive chicken and fish!

Experiment,

Nora

Have you ever prepared tofu? What is your favorite way?

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REMINDER: Monday March 1 I will be starting my CHOBANI GREEK YOGURT GIVEAWAY! Also, if you are interested in Chia Seeds be sure to check out One Healthy Apple’s Blog the contest ends tomorrow at 9pm!

After lunch today I needed something sweet (surprised?). I decided it was time to try the concoction I have been dreaming about ever since I received my Kopali samples earlier this week: Chobani Greek Peach Yogurt with Kopali Organic Mango and granola. Sound good to you? IT WAS!The Verdict: I love Kopali’s dried mango slices. I tried a few pieces the other night when I was testing out their Dark Chocolate Banana Pieces, and they were out of this world. They are simply mango; no sugar or preservatives added. I am always hesitant about dried fruit because some times I find that they are sugar laden and overly sweet or extremely hard. These pieces reminded me of fruit leather, and the flavor of mango was potent without being intensely sweet!  I love the flavor combination of mango and peach, and found that the mango rehydrated a bit in the yogurt! My crunchy topping was the last 1/4 cup or so of my Yoga Granola 😦 sad but such a good way to enjoy the last little bit of it. I am sad to say that although I liked this yogurt, it wasn’t my favorite of the Chobani products I have tried. The peach flavor was fairly mild and only had minuscule pieces of peach in it (still good though).

Happy Snacking,

Nora

What do you mix in your yogurt?

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I’m a self-professed dark chocoholic and an almond butter addict. Put the two together, and I can not resist. I have been eyeballing MaraNatha’s Dark Chocolate Almond Spread, for a while now, and since I never stick to my grocery store list (all I actually needed were apples and bananas) it happened to find its way into my cart during my last grocery store expedition.

My Love

Almond butter is one of my favorite toppings for my morning oats, so I thought to myself “Why NOT have chocolate for breakfast?!”  Yes Mom, I did put this in my breakfast this morning, but don’t worry it’s good for you! After eating a solo spoonful from the jar I determined that this was in fact an ingenious idea, and created: Chocolate Almond, Banana and Strawberry Overnight Oats. THAT’S RIGHT I MADE OVERNIGHT OATS!!!! A decadent topping for a decadent breakfast. I couldn’t stop thinking about the creamy goodness that happened when I added yogurt to my oats earlier this week so attempted to make them the right way. I used: 1/3 cup oats soaked in 1/3 cup almond milk over night, then added 1/3 cup (plus another spoonfuls left in the container) plain yogurt, 1/2 a banana, cinnamon galore, 4 large strawberries and 1TBS Chocolate Almond Spread to the bowl in the morning.

Believe it!

AMAZING way to start the weekend. This almond spread is fantastic! At first it tasted like regular almond butter but the dark chocolate flavor lingers and provides an elegant finish. Next time I am going to heat it up before adding, or use it in warm oats to really enhance its flavor, but this was phenomenal! The blogging world has turned me on to overnight oats. I felt like I was eating a healthy cheese cake or pudding for breakfast. The oats become tender and plump adding lots of volume to the bowl.

Chocolate in my oats!

Did I mention I LOVE breakfast? I sometimes feel like my entire blog is a tribute to my favorite meal of the day.

Happy Weekend (and for those of you getting snow storms…stay warm and cozy!),

Nora

What is your favorite way to eat oats?

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When I got home from work last night around 10pm I made my Strawberry Chobani and Kopali Dark Chocolate Covered Banana yogurt cup in hopes that it would give me some motivation to complete my 10 page Political Philosophy paper. It was a tedious paper that I have been putting off due to lack of motivation/interest. This is not very characteristic of me, but I have taken a similar class to this before and the thought of reading Hobbes, Rousseau and Marx AGAIN is painful. 10pm quickly became 12am, and I finally felt pressured to crack down. I am by no means a night owl, so after a solid hour of paper writing I decided my back hurt from sitting in my stiff desk chair and I needed to lay in bed for “just a minute”. Well, I ended up falling asleep with all my lights on, in a very uncomfortable position and woke up around 3:30am stressed out because I still had a long way to go. I moved back to the chair-of-pain, blurry eyed and groggy. I NEEDED to crank this paper out but my mind was wandering. I decided I could either: a) push through the paper now or b) go back to bed and finish it in the later hours of the morning. I don’t like feeling rushed so I decided to give my best effort at 3:30am so that I wouldn’t be writing non-sense at the last possible minute.

I gave up caffeinated beverages for Lent, so coffee was out of the question. To keep myself focused I needed a snack…at 4am. I wanted something easy to eat that I could pick at, and something…peanut butter. I remembered that I still had a Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar from Amazing Grass and that sounded SO good to me at the time.Yes, I did take a picture of this at 4am. I’m such a good food blogger! I LOVE THIS BAR! It was peanutty and chocolaty and so much more! I liked this one a lot more than the GREEN SuperFood Chocolate Whole Food Energy Bar. It was satisfying and delicious with whole pieces of peanuts and a mouth watering dark chocolate coating. More importantly though, it helped me bang out about 6 solid pages of my paper. Oh the wonders of food! Still sleep deprived, I fell asleep from about 6am-8:30am (yea, yea…just remember I NEVER do this!) and woke up with a weird feeling in my stomach. I’m not much of a late night snacker, and at 270 calories and 12g of protein this wasn’t really what I would consider a light late night snack. I couldn’t stomach the idea of my usual big bowl of yogurt/oats so I opted to keep it simple with an apple and a smoothie. My smoothie was created with a little inspiration from HEAB: 2 handfuls (~2 cups) baby spinach, 1 serving of coconut water, 2 inch slice of an English Cucumber, 1 frozen banana, 1 scoop of Chocolate Amazing Meal and 4 ice cubes.

Remainder that wouldn't fit in my "to-go" cup

It was actually not too bad! I have never tried Coconut water before. I initially thought it had a rather delightful and unique taste, but after sipping it for a while the flavor was a little bit too much for me. The cucumber was refreshing, and I loved that I could taste the cacao from the Amazing Meal.  I liked the Chocolate Amazing Meal more than the Chocolate SuperFood I tried in the past. Adding spinach to a smoothie may not seem traditional but it has a very mild and clean flavor to it. Plus you are getting your daily dose of greens and iron!! The real flavor come from whatever you choose to add to the mix.  My only regret was not adding frozen berries, and maybe substituting almond milk for the coconut water. It was a very clean breakfast, and left me energized for my day (despite my lack of sleep!).

In case you were wondering, I did finish my paper! I also had time to revise and edit. I have to say…not too shabby (Don’t worry Mom and Dad, senioritis hasn’t consumed me completely!).

Keeping My Eyes Open,

Nora

What foods do you turn to when you are in a late night crunch?

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Yesterday I received an exciting package in the mail from Norman at Kopali Organics:I first tried Kopali’s Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs and their Organic Mix earlier this month. They are healthy treats and SO delicious. I also really admire the company’s values and their commitment to sustainability, strengthening communities, and promoting healthy lifestyles.  Kopali was a 2007 Winner of Socially Responsible Business Award for natural, organic and sustainable products. Their mission statement, “Every choice we make affects our well being, the lives of countless others, and the future of our world. This is why we started Kopali. Join us in restoring a healthy connection between the food we eat, the farmers who grow it and the planet we all share.” These are also things that I cherish; I am beyond impressed by Kopali.

My package  included: Dark Chocolate Covered Banana and Mango!!!!! I feel like they must know me or something, these are a few of my favorite flavors! Thank you so much Norman!  My chocoholic self loves anything covered in dark chocolate, so by virtue, I had to try this one first. The organic banana (dried banana and rice flour) is covered in Fair Trade Certified dark chocolate and is vegan!  I was pleasantly surprised when I bit into my first piece. It had a chewy real banana center! I was expecting dried banana chips covered in chocolate, but these were much more flavorful. After trying one I knew that I immediately needed to make myself a treat. So what was my decision? A dynamic product review snack:The Yogurt: Chobani Greek Yogurt Strawberry Non-fat. Like the blueberry yogurt I tried a few days ago, I became a little nervous when I saw the liquid-like strawberry mix on the bottom. I thought that it would make the yogurt less creamy than I like, but again, I was proved wrong. After thoroughly mixing, it transformed into a smooth cream with pieces of strawberry running through it, YUM! A perfect surface for chocolate covered bananas!

The Mix: I really liked this combination. I ended up breaking up the pieces of chocolate covered banana so they ran through the yogurt and gave it more flavor, rather than having a few bites with big chunks of chocolate. It was the perfect late night study treat: nothing too heavy, SWEET, and most importantly good for my body and mind!

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t try a piece or two of the dried mango, but you are going to have to wait for another post to hear about that! AND, I have to throw it out there, I am very excited about that post so STAY TUNED!

Back To Studying,

Nora

What is your favorite late night snack?

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**5 DAYS UNTIL MY BIRTHDAY CHOBANI GIVE AWAY!!! MAKE SURE TO CHECK BACK ON MARCH 1**

All of the flavored yogurts, fruit smoothies and crazy oat bowls I’ve been enjoying for breakfast recently have  made me a bit nostalgic for my simple favorite: sliced banana, 0% plain Greek yogurt, cinnamon and granola. It is easy, filling and refreshing. As much as I love 2% Greek yogurt for its thick consistency, granola takes on a whole new meaning when it is added to the non-fat. It slightly absorbs the moisture and makes the yogurt more voluminous. Plain Greek yogurt was MADE for fruit. The tangy, sour flavor provides a perfect canvas to compliment the sweet fruit. Real Greek yogurt is often served as a dessert with honey and nuts: cool,  creamy, crunchy, tangy and sweet! I would do well in Greece.Today I pulled out a Chobani Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt from the sample pack in my fridge. It was the perfect day to have my long time staple. I have been consuming this yogurt for years, and have mentioned it in other posts, but I wanted to take the time to highlight this particular flavor. Prior to finding Chobani, I was consuming a variety of other brands of Greek Yogurt. After doing a label, taste, and price comparison, I chose Chobani and never looked back.

Popular Brand Nutritional Stats:

CHOBANI 0% Plain: (6oz) 100 calories [0 fat], 0 Cholesterol, 80mg Sodium (3%dv), 7g Carbohydrates (2%dv; 7g of sugar), 18g Protein (36% dv)

Fage 0% Plain: (6oz) 90 calories [0 fat], 0 Cholesterol, 65mg Sodium, 7g Carbohydrates (7g sugar), 15g Protein

Okios 0% Plain: (5.3oz) 80 calories [0 fat], 0 Cholesterol, 60mg Sodium, 6g Carbohydrates (6g sugar), 15g Protein

Because prices/availability may vary, I don’t have an exact price comparison, but I tend to buy the 32oz containers and I can get the Chobani for 1/2 the price of Fage.

Basics

I think I could eat this 100 times a day. It is so satisfying, I always get sad when I’m on my last bite (but that also means that I have to start getting on with my day). Sometimes, the simple things in life are what make us the happiest.

Happy Hump Day!

Nora

What is your favorite simple meal?

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