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Posts Tagged ‘Apple’

When I have absolutely NO idea what to have for breakfast and need something quick, nutritious and filling, I turn to Greek yogurt, granola and fruit. I am hitting all of my nutritional bases with whole grains, protein and a serving of fruit. I try to pick a granola that is organic (Be careful when you buy granola, many of them have TONS of sugar and are highly processed.) and that has a bit of fat for staying power. I like using a lower fat granola for topping purposes, but when granola is the main component of my breakfast paired with a low-fat yogurt I like a heavier granola for satiety.

This morning I was NOT in the mood to make oatmeal (weird I know…I always am) and I wanted something cold, so toast was not an option. I received a package of Chobani Champions to sample yesterday, and it felt like the perfect opportunity to try another flavor. I am trying to widdle down my cereal/granola collection and I thought that my Bear Naked Fruit and Nut Granola would be the perfect addition to the Honeynana yogurt. I was extremely excited to try this flavor because I LOVED the Chobani non-fat Honey Greek Yogurt I tried a while back, and love the combination of honey, banana and nuts. I used 1/4 cup granola (almost didn’t fit in the cup!) and had a small Gala apple on the side to round my breakfast out.

I really like the flavor of this yogurt. I think the Champion line is a great product for people who have never tried Greek yogurt or for children. Both the chocolate and honeynana had a thinner consistency than other Chobani products, less protein and big flavor. I love Greek yogurt because of the tangy flavor and rich texture, but I have found that for many people it is an acquired taste. The Champion product is great because it is a bit more mild but still packs more protein than regular low-fat yogurt, has probiotic cultures and excellent nutrition! I love the diversity of Chobani’s products; there is something for everyone to enjoy!

I have one hour-long class this morning then it’s off to the gym for my upper body lifting committment! I’m sticking to this in hopes to gain some upper body strength by summer. I haven’t been sore after the past two sessions, so I think I am going to switch up my routine. I think it is important to work different muscles and “build” weights if you are looking to gain muscle, not simply tone-up. And of course I packed one of these:Chocolate Whey Protein Shake: 1 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1 scoop Organic Chocolate Whey. Is it weird that I actually like these? I just pack it up with some cold packs, shake and drink…tastes JUST like a chocolate milk shake! Lunch time is usually right after the gym, so I typically don’t have a “post gym” snack, however; since I am trying to build back muscle, I read that protein shakes are the best recovery because your body absorbs the nutrients faster than through a food source. I try to have this as soon as I am finished, and then head home for lunch about an hour later. I haven’t had this routine long enough to promote any results, but I am hoping it helps!

Happy Friday!

Nora

What are essential breakfast elements you have even when you are in a hurry?

How do you feel about protein shakes? Any experience/advice for strength exercises?

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Among my, lets call it ‘5’ , different types of breakfast cereals sits an almost full bag of muesli. I made this purchase a few months ago and have only used it once. I have a month left of school, and decided it was time to start liquidating my supply. Today I made a very random overnight mix using muesli and open can of pumpkin that has been sitting in my fridge.

Layer 1: 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Muesli, 1/4 cup almond milk

Layers 2, 3 and 4: Pumpkin Yogurt (1/4 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves) and 1 medium sliced banana.

Layer 5: Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola

I realize how disgusting this looks, but I have to reassure you that it was fantastic. I am also going green and recycling my apple sauce jar as a dish again. I think I prefer using Muesli for overnight oats, compared to regular rolled oats. I really like the elements of the sunflower seeds and raisins, and the texture they obtain overnight. It creates a creamy and flavorful bowl rather than something on the chewy side. It made a world of difference to incorporate the Greek yogurt and pumpkin a head of time. When I was mixing it together last night it had a soup-like consistency and this morning it formed into the perfect custard. I layered the Pumpkin Yogurt with sliced banana to give it a bit of sweetness. I like adding textural elements to dishes, especially when the main component is creamy. Galaxy Granola is perfect, it  holds its texture better than any other I have tried, providing a nice crunch in every bite.

After breakfast I strolled to class and took in the beautiful weather. All that separated me from the weekend was a 10 minute presentation, then FREEDOM! After class, I went to the gym and did 20 minutes of light elliptical and 30 minutes of  arm weights (dumbell curls, side crunches, front raises, lateral raises and rows all 3×10). Immediately after, I was anxious to get my number one mission out of the way: operation get a new blender. I packed my old blender up and went to Target to see if I could possibly exchange without a receipt. Normally I would just let it be (I have had it almost a year and didn’t even have the box!), but this blender had a 2-year warranty. I was able to get an upgrade on my blender and it only cost me $8! SCORE! I was happy  to make the exchange but it came with a few sacrifices: LUNCH!

I ended up getting stuck in traffic and I could hear my stomach start to rumble. It was nearly 1:30pm! By the time I got home I knew what I wanted: PB and J. I read somewhere that it was National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, and I needed some quick protein so it was essential to have this classic lunch. However, I did have to put a spin on it. On to my peanut butter base went Crofter’s North America Superfruit Spread (a tart spread with cranberries and blueberries) and Shredded Carrot. I’m not sure what possessed me to do this but it worked! On the side I had a Gala Apple with cinnamon, an unpictured Adora chocolate calcium disk COVERED in more PB, and a Mini Monster.

Oh…this mini monster…NOT my best effort. I really wanted to use my blender, and since I lifted a bit at the gym thought I needed some extra calories and protein so I came up with this concoction: 1/2 cup almond milk, splash of water, 2 ice cubes, 1/2 frozen banana, 10 frozen cherries, 1 scoop Chocolate Amazing Meal and 2 handfuls of spinach. Too much spinach not enough sweetness!! I should have added some regular cacao powder and less spinach. Live an learn. It wasn’t so awful, I drank it all, but the prominent flavor was spinach.

I’m headed home tomorrow for Easter and CANNOT WAIT to see my family! Not that I dislike being at school, but I find the most comfort when I am home surrounded by loved ones and have lots of good home cookin’! I plan on doing a bit of cooking with my mom too, so hopefully I’ll be able to snag a few photos before we devour some good eats!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Nora

What meals do you turn to when you are in a crunch for time?

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Could it be nicer outside? It is currently a sunny 74 degrees and I am on top of the world! I was able to go for my favorite river-side run (~4 miles) a few hours after my pancake digested (so filling but delicious!). I went a bit slower today just so I could soak up all of the beauty that surrounded me. After my run I happily skipped to our campus Starbucks and picked up a post run recovery drink: Odwalla Superfood blended with protein. This was a monster drink in a Venti sized cup that took me a while to finish. It was delicious, cool and refreshing; exactly what I needed after my run. I’m really sad that my blender exploded, because this weather has me craving smoothies galore :(.

The nice weather also has me craving fresh produce for lunch so off to the dining hall I went for a big ‘ole salad and an apple. This was fresh and delicious, but I thought I needed some form of carbohydrates and peanut butter so I ran to the campus store to purchase a Nature Valley Peanut Butter Granola Bar.I haven’t had one of the these in a while, and usually prefer other types of fruit/nut bars for snacks, but the crunch and flavor really hit the spot.

I have a bunch of school work to do this afternoon but hopefully the nice weather will be motivation to complete it so I can get outside! Tonight my room mate and I are going to a Japanese Kimono exhibit at a local museum and sushi for dinner. I can not wait, I love when culture meets food!

Living Life,

Nora

What are your favorite “nice weather” meals? Do you change your dining to outside venues and enjoy grilling when the weather calls for it?

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In honor of the Ginger Snap Lara Bar I tried over the weekend, I added a new addition to my oats today: ground cloves. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the warm flavor, and knew it would be a nice addition in my morning oats. Cloves remind me of the winter holiday season where items like dried fruit, nuts and spices are staples in every meal and dessert. I wanted something hearty, creamy, dynamic and sweet to start my day so I decided to make Banana Fruit Cake Oats: 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup water, 1 sliced banana, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 2 TBS oat bran, 1/2 TBS chia seeds, 1 chopped Medjool date, 1 chopped apricot, 1/2 TBS dried cherries, 1/2 TBS dried cranberries, 1/2 TBS raisins and 1 TBS natural almond butter. I added the milk, water, spices and 1/2 of the banana (reserve other half for top) into a small sauce pan until it starts to boil. I reduced the heat and added the oat bran, oats and chia seeds for about 8 minutes and topped with the dried fruit, banana slices and almond butter. Oat bran is a new product for me. A few weeks ago I was adding about 2 TBS of instant oats (an attempt to get rid of them) to my rolled oats and noticed that they added a lot more volume and creaminess to my bowls. I wanted to find a product that would give this same feel, and the fine grind of oat bran did the trick! This was delicious and SO filling. I had  small apple mid-morning but this held me over for hours!

For lunch I was oddly craving hummus and carrots. I made a big spinach salad using: spinach, 1 large grated carrot, 2 inch piece of an English cucumber, 1/2 Roma tomato, 1 stalk of celery, 3 white button mushrooms sliced, clover sprouts, hummus, goat cheese and hot sauce. I really like the addition of hummus to big salads, and always put ~2 TBS right on top of the clover sprouts to spread it around. It is such a delicious combination. On the side I had a handful (plus a few pre-photo!) of Food Should Taste Good The Works! Chips. I’m not really a big chip person, but I do like blue tortilla chips and fancy chips from time to time. This company makes so many “different” chips including sweet potato and chocolate! I saw that The Works was a mixture of caraway and poppy seeds, minced garlic and onion and HAD to pick them up. I love the flavors of caraway and poppy and haven’t had them in a long time. These chips were a bit salty but paired nicely with the hummus and hot sauce. After lunch I needed something sweet to cleanse my palate and had 1 sliced kiwi, 2 sliced frozen strawberries and Chobani Greek Yogurt; light and refreshing.

I just found out that I won’t be able to attend the Passover dinner with my friend tonight. I’m a little bummed because I was looking forward to experience her religion and see the traditions, but I received an exciting little something-something in the mail today that might make an appearance around dinner time!

Creative Thoughts,

Nora

If you are an oatmeal person: what types of oats do you use and what are essential ingredients in the base of your oats?

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I think Sundays are officially going to be my yoga and fresh juice days (except for next week because I will be home with my family for some yummy Easter eats!!). After an afternoon of work, I decided to wind down from my week with a Vinyasa class. The Sunday instructor is SO hard and I was basically DRENCHED in sweat by the end of the class! I was in need of some fresh juice to recover. I wanted the same “Lean ‘n Green” I ordered last week, but they ran out of celery so Beetnik it was. I actually LOVE this drink. The apple, carrot, beet combination is deliciously sweet and earthy; I think I finished it in about a minute flat. I find that there is a noticeable difference in the way I feel when I do and do not  have juice post yoga/activities. Drinking raw juice instantly restores my energy levels and my muscles feel less tired and shaky.

After yoga it was POURING rain outside, and I decided to do a little grocery shopping to stock up on some much-needed produce, and some ingredients for the Cooks Mission. To my surprise, they ran out of one of this week’s ingredients: celery root. Who would have guessed that celery root was such a hot item to cook with? I’ll have to find some time and try again tomorrow, because I would be disappointed if I couldn’t participate in such a fun activity.  I did manage to find my favorite  Mint Cookies ‘n Cream Fro-Yo, pumpkin and oat bran. Oh yea, you can look forward to some interesting oats this week!

It was nearly 7pm when I got home, and I had oddly been craving runny eggs all day. I can’t even remember the last time I had fried eggs, but hey, you have to feed your body what it wants!! I wilted a bed of spinach and topped it with, sautéed white mushrooms and spanish onion in balsamic, 1 sliced Roma tomato, 2 fried eggs, goat cheese, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon and hot sauce. On the side I had 1 slice of Ezekiel’s 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread with Crofter’s North America Superfruit Spread. I love having breakfast for dinner. It was a simple and cozy meal for a rainy night.  For dessert I had a bowl of Mint Cookies and Cream topped with frozen raspberries. I’m not entirely sure where or why I came up with this combination, but it works!

Tomorrow is the start of another busy week. I have a long day of classes, projects and I am attending a very late (Almost 9pm!) dinner with a friend for Passover. I do not celebrate this holiday, but have a lot of interest in cultural/religious traditions, especially when they surround family, community and food. I am so excited that I am able to share this with her and can’t wait for the experience!  Hopefully I’ll be able to sneak a few photographs, but no promises since it is a religious ceremony.

NOW FOR SOME BIG BREAKING NEWS! A little less talk, a little more action……..I BOUGHT A JUICER! Hopefully it will be getting here in the next week or so!!! I cant wait to start making some fresh juices of my own! I decided on the Breville Multi-Speed Ikon Juicer. I can already tell I am going to have WAY too much fun with this!

To Another Week of Good Eats,

Nora

What is something you haven’t had in a while?

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The Beginnings

Favorite Study Snack: Turkish Apricots Stuffed with Almonds

Happy Lick-Your-Almond-Butter-Jar-Clean Day Friday. Remember that almost empty jar I pictured yesterday? Well, I made sure to put it to good use today with Oats In a Jar! I have done this before with overnight oats, however; putting warm stove-top oats in a jar makes for an infinitely better melty-almond experience. I used my standard banana-oat mix ( 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/3 cup water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, 1/2 banana, 1/3 cup steel-cut oats and 1/2 TBS chia seeds), mixed a handful of blueberries in at the very end, added the mixture to my almost empty Maranatha Almond Butter jar and topped with Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, Crofter’s South America Superfruit Spread (Maqui berries and Passionfruit), chopped Turkish Apricots and Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola. DELICIOUS! There were points were I literally was eating spoonfuls of ALMOND BUTTER! Whoever started this OIAJ trend needs an award. My favorite addition was the Turkish Apricots. I love dried apricots, and often snack on them with mixed nuts. (see picture above, my favorite way to eat them= stuffing with almonds!)  These are the most flavorful, and have the best texture. I find that bagged apricots are some times “gummy” and have a preservative taste. I only chopped 1 or 2 to put into my oats, and despite the other flavors, could taste them in every bite.

I’m headed home this afternoon for an eye doctors appointment. The pink eye I had about a month ago turned into an allergy and I have been wearing glasses ever since! I am glad to finally be glasses free, plus I get to go out for a fish dinner with my parents! (Fish because we don’t eat meat on Friday during lent/ I love fish! Can you believe Lent is almost over? I gave up caffeinated beverages, and only cheated a few times, plus get de-caf lattes and coffee so it’s not all bad! I have to say I have been feeling FANTASTIC being caffeine free.) With traveling comes ROAD SNACKS! It’s not a far drive so I packed some finger foods: 1 large carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 Gala apple and left over mango sprinkled with cinnamon. I ended up eating another Gala apple while chopping all of this! They are so good! I made a spontaneous Lady Gaga CD purchase yesterday when I went to Target. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought a CD. This should be a fun one for the ride; there is something about her music that is….interesting to me.

In other news I am 99% sure that I am going to get a juicer this summer! I’m thinking about getting one from Breville. I found a few that were less expensive, but from past experience buying “cheaper” appliances, I know that they don’t always last and quality is extremely important. If anyone has suggestions let me know!

Have a Safe Weekend,

Nora

What is your favorite music? When was the last time you bought a CD?

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It’s official, I need to buy a juicer.

All of the spring-like weather we had last week was a gigantic tease, and it remained in the upper 30’s with cold rain ALL day. After my exams, I needed a little spirit boost (and warmth, I was freezing!) so I decided to go to another Vinyasa class. My experience with raw juice was so positive yesterday that I thought I would try another daring mix, “Beatnik”: Beet, Apple Carrot. I happen to love beets, but know that they are an acquired taste; people either LOVE them or HATE them. I wasn’t sure how the earthy beet would fair in a beverage. The flavor was there, but it wasn’t potent and the carrot and apple gave a sweetness to the drink. It was really good, but I think I liked my “Lean ‘n Green” a little bit more, granted they are extremely different drinks.

I quickly sipped this beauty down and it reminded me of how much I love beets. My dinner was inspired: Roasted Beet and Blood Orange Salad with Grilled Balsamic Tempeh. As I drove home, I dreamed up a Mixed Green Salad with Clover Sprouts, Grilled Balsamic Tempeh, Blood Oranges, Avocado, English Cucumber, Celery, Roasted Beets, Cinnamon/Cumin Roasted Kabocha Squash, Goat Cheese and Toasted Hazelnuts. It is a good thing that the Yoga studio is about 5 minutes from my grocery store, because I have meal ideas galore after these classes! I was a girl with a plan, and  picked up lots of produce: Mixed Greens, Clover Sprouts, Avocado, Blood Orange, Celery and BEETS along with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese to supplement the items I had at home. The flavors were amazing and there was a nice balance of sweet, savory, and spicy. Not to mention the textural elements of the creamy avocado and goat cheese paired with the crunchy celery and hazelnuts. I started with a base of mixed greens (should have used more because the tempeh caused it to “fall”) and topped it with a layer of clover sprouts. I added the grilled tempeh to the center and surrounded it with a layer of blood orange, avocado and English cucumber. I sprinkled the beets, celery, Kabocha, hazelnuts and goat cheese around the plate and VOILA!

Meal Dreams,

Nora

Do you ever dream of “what dish is next” ? If so, what types of dishes do you tend to get creative with?

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