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Posts Tagged ‘Blueberries’

During my Sunday afternoon “walk and talk” with my mom I began to divulge what the phrase “Live Life, Eat Right” truly means to me. It is not a basic factor of eating healthy foods and exercising, but rather; having all around balance in life emotionally, spiritually and physically. It is about doing of the little things that make us well-rounded and happy. I find that I am my happiest self when I am able to make time for work, family, friends, exercise and my personal interests aka food and wine. Work (yes even school work) gives me a sense of pride and accomplishment. I get the same feel from exercise, but find that it is more of a release and something that provides a refreshing/relaxing feeling for me. My interest in food/wine stems from the sentiment of family and culture. I relish in the moments where I have time to research industry trends/recipes and have the opportunity to cook. These are things that I hold dear to my heart and that make me feel like a whole person. After all, it is the simple things in life that mean the most.

Today I was contemplating what creation I wanted to make for breakfast. I thought about chopping nuts and dried fruit, making a wonderful sauce with orange juice and frozen berries, and drizzling honey over a dollop of yogurt to give my bowl an elegant look for my photos, but paused to realize– I wasn’t actually in the mood for any of these complexities in my oatmeal. I just wanted something hearty and simple. I decided to make Basic Banana Oats with Blueberries and Almond Butter. Into my pan went: 1/4 cup oat bran, 2 TBS rolled oats, 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 sliced banana, cinnamon, vanilla extract and 1/2 TBS chia seeds. I finished my bowl with a handful of blueberries, 1 TBS crunchy almond butter and cinnamon. I enjoyed a cup of coffee along side in my favorite New York Wine and Culinary Center mug. Simple and satisfying.

Remember The Little Things,

Nora

What hobbies/interests make you feel complete?

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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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Dear Oats, I miss you. Love Always, Nora.

I haven’t had my beloved stove top oats in a few days, and oh how I have missed them! There is nothing better than a bowl of creamy, luscious and hearty oats to start the day off right. I can honestly say that no other breakfast satisfies me the way oatmeal with fruit and nut butter does. Be still my heart.

I wanted to thank Kristen at POM Wonderful for contacting me and sending me some bottles of POM juice to test out. I will use the juice in much more creative ways, but I HAD to incorporate POM into my oats as my first cooking endeavor. Breakfast today was: Banana Oats with Almond Butter and Mango-Blueberry Pomegranate Sauce.

The Base: 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 cup water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, 1/2 sliced banana, 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1/2 TBS chia seeds. Bring everything up to banana up to a simmer, add oats and seeds, cook for ~8 minutes “whipping” banana at the end.

Mango-Blueberry POM sauce: In a small sauce pan combine blueberries, mango and cinnamon. Add POM to coat, simmer and stir until slightly reduced.

I also added 1 TBS of Almond Butter directly to the center and poured the warm sauce over it. YUM! I’m also thinking OIAJ (oats in a jar) might be necessary tomorrow, based on the condition of my almond butter jar. Happy Friday to me :)!

To the Most Important Meal of the Day,

Nora

What are your favorite flavor combinations using pomegranate?

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I started today a little bit off routine. I’m a creature of habit, so when I wake up late I feel rushed and unbalanced. It was almost 9am and I still needed to pack, shower, get ready, and more importantly HAVE BREAKFAST! I wasn’t very hungry this morning or in the mood for anything particular but I really do not like starting my day with out breakfast (if you read my blog you will see that it is my favorite meal of the day). I wanted a loaded green smoothie (1 cup almond milk, 1 frozen banana, handful of spinach, ice, chia seeds, and Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood) topped with  Galaxy granola but being the good room-mate that I am, realized my room-mate was still sleeping and my noisy blender going off would be a rude awakening. I decided for the next best (and easiest) thing: 3/4 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/4 Cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1/2 TBS Chia Seeds, 1/4 Cup Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola (my new OBSESSION!!! LOVE THIS STUFF!), a handful of blueberries and cinnamon.

When I stepped out the door the rain was gone, the clouds had parted and there was nothing but blue skies and sunshine! This changed my mood immediately, and after class I had to go for a leisurely riverside run. It was a little bit cold with mild wind in the 50’s, but there is one thing I do not do when we have a sunny day: waste them. I have to take full advantage of the weather, and it always lifts my mood. I ran for about 40 minutes (plus time for pictures, because it was TOO beautiful).

While I was running I started to think about getting a juicer. (My foodie mind is in perpetual motion)Since it is getting to be farmers market season (BEST TIME OF THE YEAR!!!! IT’S PRODUCE CHRISTMAS EVERY WEEKEND!!!) and the weather is getting nicer, I think that a juicer might be a great addition to my kitchen. I love fresh juice, but it is SO expensive at almost $6 a bottle and how refreshing would it be to wake up in the summer and have a glass of fresh juice with breakfast or in the afternoon? I have looked at a few online, and was wondering if anyone had suggestions? I was thinking about getting a product from Breville, I have read about them and when I inquired about juicer advice, the company quickly responded and made suggestions based on the level of use I was looking for.

Since breakfast was a little lame, I had to make up for it with a good lunch. Warm Lentil Salad with Beets and Hazelnut Coated Goat Cheese and of course an apple. When I make warm lentil salad, I usually serve it with a walnut coated goat cheese. I actually had this in mind last night but then was having a Dijon craving and didn’t want my plate/flavors to be TOO busy. I love the way the goat cheese medallion slightly melts when it is placed on the lentils. The combination of the spices and the texture of the lentils with the creamy goat cheese is phenomenal. It is simple, but so luxurious.

Dinner tonight will have to be something fast; I’m doing my usual shift at the bakery until 9pm. I love it there :)! I might be feeling creative with my “lunch box” dinner so I’ll be sure to post later!

Reinventing Leftovers,

Nora

What are your thoughts about purchasing a juicer?

I received some comments about what I do for work outs/ what snacks etc I eat through out the day. I don’t always post everything, so I was wondering what you would like me to blog about more. I would love to hear some feedback! 🙂

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Happy Saturday! I woke up this morning refreshed with oats and mango on my mind. I had some extra time and decided to make the ultimate stove top oats: Chia-Banana Cooked Scottish Oats with Mango-Orange-Passionfruit Compote, Coconut Cream, Crunchy Almond Butter, Sliced Banana and Blueberries. Holy smokes, toppings galore! Hidden under the toppings is a copious layer of the Mango-Orange-Passionfruit Compote and Chia-Banana Cooked Oats. I needed a bigger bowl to show everything, this picture doesn’t do it justice!  For The Oats: In a small sauce pan, bring 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/3 cup water, cinnamon and nutmeg to a boil. Add 1/4 cup Scottish Oats, 1/8 Cup Instant Oats and 1/2 TBS Chia Seeds. Reduce heat and stir on low for 8-10 minutes. During the last 2 minutes add 1/4 thinly sliced banana and whip into the oats.

Mango-Orange Pomegranate Compote: In a small sauce pan saute 1/4 of a mango (cut into cubes) with cinnamon. Once tender, add orange juice to coat, stir an let simmer ~1 minute. Add a large spoonful ~2 TBS Crofter’s South America Superfruit Spread, and allow to reduce to a thick consistency.

Coconut Cream: 1 large spoonful of Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt mixed with 1/2 TBS Artisana Coconut Butter

Add oats to the bowl, top with Mango-Orange-Passionfruit Compote,  1/4 sliced banana, handful of blueberries, ~1.5-2 TBS Crunchy Almond Butter, and Coconut Cream. Enjoy! (because I sure did!)

Starting The Day Off Full and Happy,

Nora

What has been your most creative “concauction”?

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It has been quite the adventurous day. It all started with a lack of internet (thus the late post) and ended in a long search to get my phone fixed.  Before I start rambling on the happenings of today I’ll give you some food bites.

I started the day off with a variation of yesterdays breakfast: 1/2 cup Plain Chobani Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/2 TBS Chia, 1/2 frozen mashed banana combined and let to sit for ~10 minutes and topped with handful of blueberries, 1/2 ripe banana, cinnamon and 1/4 cup Emmy’s Organics Raw Granola.This granola is made of buckwheat, dates, almonds, agave, flax, cinnamon, vanilla bean and Himalayan crystal salt, all organic and raw. I liked the crunch and earthy flavor, it definitely had a “raw” taste to it. Not bad, but when I think of granola I need the real deal. After this I snacked on a handful of  Galaxy Vanilla Almond and a big Jonagold. On my way out the door I noticed my phone had a blank screen. Great, this meant that I had to reorganize my plans and make a trip to get it fixed.

My raw breakfast inspired me to “be one with nature”, and I decided that it was the perfect day for a run. Prepare to get sentimental with me for a moment. There is something so freeing about running outside when it is just you, nature and some good music. There are no expectations, or distance/speed requirements, just instincts and scenery. The path I run on is along side of a river. The trees are still bear, but hold the prospect of sprouting leaves soon. I heard the songs of the seagulls, and saw a few tulips beginning to poke there way through the ground; true signs of Spring! I paused for a moment at the midway point to absorb the rushing waterfall glistening in the sun. It was beautiful and made me feel ALIVE! Okay, enough of that, I just think it is so serene and it is hard to describe the beauty that was around me and how refreshing it make me feel.

I ended up running for a leisurely 40 minutes and came home to prepare some lunch. I was really thirsty and craving some fresh vegetables. I decided on a Big Salad topped with a Boca Burger and Hummus, and a side of Green Grapes and Kabocha.I’m not sure what makes these burgers so appealing to me but mashed with hummus and spinach, they are divine! I was going to make a boca+hummus+veggie sandwich, but when I opened my fridge, I knew that all of the things I wanted could not fit between two pieces of bread. Shortly after I wanted something chocolate and carby. I found the perfect little bite when I opened my pantry:A Quaker’s True Delight Raspberry Mocha Cafe Square. I love these things! They are delightful. The mocha/raspberry flavors are bold, and the oats are dense.

After lunch I headed out on a three hour expedition to get my phone fixed. I felt so lost without the use of my phone for nearly an entire day. (What can I say, we are a technology dependent society) The phone store I go to had moved and I spent about 30 minutes searching for their new location, which was BEHIND another building with no sign. This was a little frustrating but at least the weather was nice, and I wasn’t in a rush to get anywhere. When I explained my problem,  I was referred to the Apple Store a half hour away. I came at the worst possible time, and the store was packed! I had to wait a while but was thankful to have someone look at my lifeline phone. The “geniuses” at the Apple store are always so friendly and helpful, I really appreciate their work (I would be so frustrated). My phone was finally fixed, but all of the contacts had to be deleted…I still feel a bit lost.

Dinner was a winner: Lemon-Ginger and Spinach Couscous with Mango Curry Tempeh

Look 1

Look 2

The couscous: ginger, lemon, 1/4 cup whole wheat couscous, handful of torn spinach, ~1 TBS raisins.

The Tempeh: Spanish onion, garlic, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, mango, red bell pepper and tempeh.

Since cooking with tempeh is my “new food venture” this week, I will divulge the details in my Sunday “new venture” post, but I’ll just let you know that it was GOOD!

Dessert is another raspberry+chocolate fix: frozen raspberries, Chobani and Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond (melted with vanilla soy milk). The Dark Chocolate Almond Spread essentially became fudge, it was delicious! A perfect way to cozy up with the THE SYRACUSE ORANGE BASKETBALL GAME!!!!! GO CUSE!

Happy Weekend!

Nora

Do you ever feel lost when you are technology free?

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How does it go from being 20 degrees to 60 degrees in a week? I don’t even need an answer to this question, I am LOVING this weather! After my Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola experience yesterday morning, I needed more. I decided to update my favorite summer breakfast: 1 cup yogurt, mixed berries, bananas and granola, to a new mix: 1/2 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1/2 TBS Chia seeds (let sit and combine ~10 min) handful of blueberries, 1 banana, cinnamon and 1/4 Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola.

I loved the combination of soymilk, yogurt and chia seeds. It had the consistency of a smoothie; not as thick as Greek yogurt, but the toppings didn’t sink like they would in a thin milk. The chia seeds made a “jelly” like texture. I have to give another shout out to the people at Fruit Not Fat, for this granola. I love that it holds it’s crunch in every bite and has clusters, but does not clump. The flavor is outstanding, and I really think cooking it in apple sauce instead of oil makes it SO much better tasting and healthier! GOOD WORK!!

Warm Weather Eats,

Nora

Do your “favorite” meals change with the weather? Are there certain foods you only eat during the summer/winter?

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