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Posts Tagged ‘Chia Seeds’

Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

Mom: I have to wish you an extra Happy Mother’s Day since I am unable to be with you today:(. This is the first Mother’s Day that I have not been home for, and it makes me sad that I am unable to spend this special day with the most amazing woman I know! Thank you so much for all of your advice and guidance over the years. I feel so blessed to have you in my life!

This picture is from a family trip to Toronto in January 2009. I wish more than anything that I could be home celebrating my mom and eating good food. Since I am still at school, I am unable to physically be with my mom but she will be in my thoughts all day. I actually called her this morning at 9am and woke her up to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day! Sorry about that Mom! I love you!

Breakfast today was ‘Mom-inspired’ with a bowl of strawberries and cream oats.My mom loves strawberries. She also has a beautiful garden at home filled with an assortment of fresh vegetables and berries that she grows in the summer, so fresh summer produce always makes me think of her.

Sunday breakfast has always been a special meal for me. I remember growing up that my dad would make AMAZING Belgian Waffles on Sunday and my mom and I would always top ours with strawberries and whipped cream. Although this is not exactly the same, I thought of my mom as I was preparing my oats this morning, wishing that I was with her sipping coffee, sharing a conversation and diving into some sweet strawberries and cream waffles!

I’m off to yoga and more apartment hunting!

Love and Appreciation,

Nora

How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?

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Did I really just complete my undergraduate college education? Ladies and gentleman, at 4pm this afternoon I emerged from the confines of my minuscule apartment looking half-human and walked to campus to hand in my last college paper ever. It still hasn’t hit me yet. Do I really not have any readings to do? Tests to study for? Papers to write? As I sit in my room and type this I am in disbelief  that the past four years have finally come to an end.  It has been an interesting ride to say the least. The knowledge I have gained at this institution expands far beyond the classroom. I have learned a lot about myself and have grown tremendously. I have to take a moment here to pause and thank my parents.

Mom and Dad- Thank you so much for every opportunity you have provided me with. I am so grateful to have your love and support in my life. The road hasn’t always been easy, but you never stopped having faith in me and I appreciate that more than you will ever know. Thank you for never doubting me and encouraging me to pursue my interests. You are my best friends and every day I truly feel lucky to have you in my life. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

On to my day:

Today was such a scramble. I’m always such a mess during finals week between little sleep, weird eating and stressful studying. I’m glad that this marks the end of it! I started today around 7am and was under lock and key paper writing in my apartment until 3:30pm. I literally moved from my floor (everything was spread out on my floor…I couldn’t sit at my desk anymore!) to the kitchen all day long and finally sat in bed for some final editing and to provide relief to my numb “bottom” that suffered from my harsh floor all day. Yeah, it wasn’t a fun time.

Breakfast was exactly what I was craving: Berry Oats. Last night for dessert I had some luscious local strawberries with MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread.

I knew that I needed to have these again for breakfast, so I made a big bowl of oats for breakfast with strawberries and blackberries.Into my bowl:

Base: 1/4 cup oat bran, 1/8 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 sliced banana, 2 tsp chia seeds, cinnamon, vanilla extract.

Toppings: ~1/4 cup Chobani Greek yogurt (last of it!), 3 strawberries, handful of blackberries and almond butter.

This was SO delicious. I really liked the melted Greek yogurt on top. It made my bowl so creamy and I loved the sour contrast with the berries. When I get more yogurt, I’m going to incorporate it into my warm oats more often!

This is the only meal that I was 100% certain of all day. As I got into paper writing the rest of my food was completely random and consisted of “I can’t focus, go make food” dishes. They were all consumed sporadically between the hours of 10am and 3pm. I really hate mindlessly eating, I never feel wonderful when I do and today was no exception. My stomach was…let’s just say a bit bubbly, but it got me through the day. I’ll try to categorize as best I can the randomness of food:

Morning Snack: Jonagold Apple with Almond Butter.

“Lunch”:

Lunch was a compilation of everything in my room/fridge/freezer that I could think to put together. I’m not sure what time this all actually took place, but I think it was a few hours after breakfast when I was getting into the really tedious part of my paper. I spotted a Luna Cookie Dough Protein Bar and decided I needed a little cookie dough to chug through more work. I ate half of it before lunch and the other half later in the day. Shortly after I decided that I needed to refocus and make myself a snack. I went back into my kitchen and prepared a plate of watermelon and pineapple. I wasn’t full and it was almost lunch time so after maybe 30 minutes I went back into the kitchen to make some real food. Remember that Multigrain bread I picked up at the bakery a while ago? Well it also comes in a Multigrain Currant variety(be still my heart, I’m in love with this bread), and I happened to have a few pieces in my freezer from a long, long time ago 🙂 . The pictures above are a before and after shot. I topped my toast with some natural crunchy peanut butter. After I made my toast, I thought to myself, “Nora, you can not live on nut butters, fruit and carbs alone.” And decided to make a plate of sautéed spinach topped with a runny fried egg, extra sharp cheddar cheese and hot sauce. Maybe I should just call this breakfast number two! It was so delicious, and held me nicely through the majority of my paper writing! I really love the combination of egg yolk and extra sharp cheddar cheese, it is so creamy and flavorful!

I finally completed the bulk of my writing around 2pm and determined I needed some editing food.I needed some greens so I made a mini “sludge” monster with 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk, 5 ice cubes, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 scoop Amazing Grass GREEN Superfood, 1 heaping TBS Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa, and a big bunch of spinach. It looks like sludge, and wasn’t as good as my protein packed monsters, but it was still refreshing. After this freezing beverage I needed something warm so I microwaved a Medjool date with almond butter and cinnamon. I microwaved another unpictured date with just cinnamon after this. Still not satisfied, and now wanting chocolate, I used a random (embarrassing purchase… my campus store sells them so I picked up a bag a while ago.) rice cake as a vessel for MaraNatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread and Raspberry Jam.

Today was a whirlwind, and I had a bunch more “finger swipes” of almond butter, some raw almonds, another apple and a big carrot somewhere in between. I think it’s safe to say: my paper was a nut butter fueled production.

It was a bit cool out when I finally left my apartment, but the walk was welcome. I was in need of a good leg stretch, and it settled the random bites of my day. I was fortunate to get to the Political Science Department mere MOMENTS before they locked the doors. My professor told us that the paper was due at 5pm, and the department locks  down at 4:30pm! I don’t know what I would have done if I left my apartment 5 minutes later.

I haven’t had time this week to exercise so I did a light 50 minutes on the Pre-core machine before heading home. I was planning to run but was felling a little “blah” when I finally got to the gym. I’ll tell you, paper writing + sitting + eating = exhaustion.

I wasn’t particularly in the mood for anything fancy for dinner, and wanted to continue my fridge cleaning so I used the remainder of my Bush’s Baked Beans for another Baked Beans and Sweet Potato dish. I served it with a fresh green salad and the last of my watermelon. I decided to cook my sweet potato in the microwave for the sake of time, and it wasn’t very photogenic. I ended up mashing it and topping it with cinnamon and Crofter’s North American Superfruit Spread (cranberry/blueberry mix) before adding my baked beans, which was delicious :).

For dessert I had a few squares of Green and Black’s Mint Dark Chocolate and a cup of Decaf Constant Comment Bigelow Tea. I needed something a little cozy to curl up in bed with because The Notebook was on and I had some blogging to catch up on :).

Hopefully, normalcy will resume tomorrow. I still think it is SO strange that I do not have anymore school work to accomplish. I have some personal projects and fun books to read, so I’m sure I’ll find a way to stay occupied. I think the most exciting part about finishing is that I now have time to do the things that I really like. I’m all for academics, but when it is a struggle to love and appreciate the material you are learning the work is tedious and stressful. I’m really looking forward to reading for fun and continuing my food/wine aspirations.

I have MANY more thoughts, but until I gather them I’m going to leave this rather long post be. I have one more week on campus for  “Senior Week”, which is filled with senior class functions (Finger Lakes Wine tour Monday…stay tuned!). I’m officially out of here after our graduation ceremony next Sunday. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Surreal Life,

Nora

Have you ever had a moment or experienced an event that seemed unbelievable?

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Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m READY! I’m ready to take MY LAST TEST and ready to be DONE WITH COLLEGE! I started today feeling quite prepared. Last night as I was waiting for my artichoke to cook, I assembled both breakfast and lunch. I knew I wasn’t going to have much time before my exam, and hate feeling rushed so this was an excellent decision. For breakfast I had overnight oats.

This happy crab bowl contains: 1/4 cup oat bran, 2 TBS rolled oats, 1 tsp chia seeds, 1 tsp ground flax, cinnamon, 1/2 a banana, 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk. I added 1/3 cup Chobani Non-fat Plain Greek Yogurt, crunchy almond butter, Crofter’s Asia Superfruit Spread, blackberries, more cinnamon and a splash of almond milk in the morning.

I’m debating my overnight oats method. I think next time I’m going to add more liquid and chia seeds. I like using oat bran for warm oats because it adds so much volume, but I think for cold oatmeal it just gives it a pasty consistency. I really liked the roasted/salted almond butter in my oats! I thought it was too salty alone but when you add it to oatmeal it gives the perfect amount of flavor. I’m also starting to rekindle my love for Crofter’s in my oats. The Asia Superfruit Spread is one of my favorites, containing whole pieces of raspberries and yumberries. I really liked the tartness in conjunction with the sweet banana and full-flavored almond butter. I need to get over my green monster streak and get back on the oats band wagon!! In all honesty, I love green monsters and they really hit the spot when I’m in the mood but NOTHING fills me the way oats do.

For lunch today I’m having yet another monster sandwich. I went a little festive, and added avocado for the holiday! Plus I love avocado. I will be packing some variation of sides to enjoy with my sandwich that are yet to be determined, but I’m thinking apple slices, celery and carrot sticks with almond butter for dipping! I like that idea…so be it. This sandwich was made with two slices of whole grain Ezekiel bread, 1/4 of an avocado, hot sauce, 1/4 red bell pepper, 1/2 Roma Tomato, sprouts and turkey. I know I say this everyday, but I am quite pleased with my fridge cleaning abilities!

My exam is probably going to take me the entire three hours, so snacks will be necessary. I stuck a few “emergency” bars from my stash into my bag last night. See how prepared I am? I’m working at the bakery tonight, which I am SO excited for because it is the perfect way to spend some down time before finishing up my paper for Friday. Dinner will be a random lunch box throw together with some Cinco de Mayo flare. Perhaps a sweet potato and black bean burrito? The world may never know.

Happy Hump Day,

Nora

Do you own a lunch box? What do you usually pack in it?

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Ina Garten, aka my kitchen hero, charmingly states “What could be bad?” as she incorporates decadent and simple ingredients into her divine creations. This morning with each heavily bite of my oats in a jar, I started to channel Ina and kept thinking “What could be bad?” Answer: absolutely nothing. Putting warm oatmeal in an almost empty nut butter jar is such a simple pleasure. I started making mental notes about how amazing this breakfast is:

1. I get satisfaction knowing that I successfully ate ever molecule in my expensive nut butter jar.

2. One less dish that I have to do, saving time and WATER! GO GREEN!

3. It is amazing when you get to the bottom only to discover a chunk of almond butter coating your spoon.

4. Melted almond butter is delicious.

5. Let’s face it, eating out of a jar is fun.

6. If I really wanted to I could put the lid on and have an easy portable breakfast.

7. I get to open another jar soon!

8.  Oatmeal in a jar is one of the most comforting and satisfying breakfasts I can think of, and easy to take back to bed with a cup of coffee!

In to my almond butter jar went: 1/4 cup oat bran, 2 TBS rolled oats, 1/3 cup almond milk, 1/3 cup water, 1/2 thinly sliced banana, 1.5 tsp chia seeds, 1 tsp ground flax, cinnamon, and vanilla extract topped with blackberries and raspberry preserves.

I know I’ve said it before, but I really enjoy the combination of rolled oats and oat bran. I like the texture of rolled oats alone but they do not generate a fluffy volume. I get the best of both worlds when I combine rolled oats and oat bran to create a fluffy/chewy bowl of perfection.

I’m off to the bakery for the day, where I will be dreaming up my next creation. I have a little something in mind for dinner this evening so stay tuned!

Goodness,

Nora

What are your favorite simple yet satisfying meals?

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Every bowl of oats that I make is slightly different, but they never fail to satisfy my mood. I am constantly thinking, “This is the best bowl I have ever made”, and I truly feel like that at the time because each bowl has an impact on my day. Today I woke up to a cold and drizzly morning. I knew it was an oatmeal day, and slowly came to my topping decisions as I slowly got out of bed. It was one of those mornings where it took a little “self-talk” and thoughts of a lovely breakfast to leave the comfort of my cozy sheets.

Lately I haven’t been able to get enough blackberries. I love, love LOVE this berry. They are sweet, tangy and crunchy–the perfect combination to top oatmeal, or anything for that matter. I was craving some good old almond butter and raspberry jam melted on top of my warm oats, and so was the inspiration for this bowl.

In the mix:

Base: 1/4 cup oat bran, 2 TBS rolled oats, 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 sliced banana, 1/2 TBS chia seeds, 1/2 TBS ground flax, cinnamon.

Toppings: Raspberry jam, blackberries, almond butter, coconut butter.

This bowl rocked my world this morning, and I love how the flakes of coconut butter melt when they hit the warm bowl. I think the coconut butter may have been the star companion to my blackberries and raspberry preserves. This breakfast was indeed, “The best bowl I’ve ever made”….well at least for today. I’m off to brave the cold, miserable weather with a smile in my heart and love in my belly! Happy Tuesday!

Cozy Breakfast Bowls,

Nora

What are your favorite toppings?

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Do you remember the “3 R’s” from elementary school? Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. These were pretty much engraved into my brain growing up, and Earth Day yesterday reminded me to get back into environmentally friendly habits.  I’m a recycling fanatic. I carry empty bottles around with me until I can find a recycle bin and when my friends put things in the trash that can be recycled, I tend to go “dumpster diving” and put them in their proper place. This morning I decided to dedicate myself to a better Earth and Reduced clean up, Reused my empty pumpkin butter jar, and Recycled the vessel when I was finished.

Last night as I was munching on my Dr.Kracker’s I knew that something was missing in my life, and that something was sunflower seeds. I use to put them on everything, and snack on the shelled version like a baseball player. I knew I was going to want the buttery seeds in the morning and thought it was a perfect occasion to use the empty pumpkin butter jar sitting in my fridge to make Overnight Muesli. Remember the Muesli I bought a while ago? I’ve only used it a grand total of….I think 3 times. I’m not sure why, it’s just not something I tend to crave in the morning. It is best used as overnight oats, and although I do sometimes think about my breakfast the night before this has never popped into my head. Last night, into my cute little jar went 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Muesli and  1/4 cup Greek yogurt. This morning I added cinnamon, 1 TBS chia seeds, 1/4 cup of almond milk and 1/2 sliced banana. I was surprised that I was able to fit this all into the jar but I did and it worked!

I loved the flavors. The raisins in the muesli get so plum overnight and the oats are the perfect soft consistency. I love the sunflower seeds and almond slices to give it a slight crunch. The pumpkin and banana flavors work perfectly with the mix. I especially like the contrast of pumpkin with the raisin. Pumpkin bread anyone? That is what it reminded me of.

Life Fun: I realize many times I am simply blogging about my food, so I decided to add a few little quips about my life. Not that I lead a very exciting life but every now and then I like to share, so here it goes. I have a nail polish collection. It’s almost as bad as my nut butter, jam, cereal and fun bowls/plates collection…almost. There was a time in my life that it would have been rare to see my naked nails because I was constantly changing colors. And by colors I mean variations of navy, dark purple, dark red, gray…I have fun colors too but nearly all of them are some color that resemble black upon first glance, although I do not actually own a black nail polish. I have been a little too busy to keep up with this habit, but I ALWAYS have my toes painted. Last night I decided it was necessary for a change. I went from Russian Navy to Mad As A Hatter. I actually picked up this new color yesterday because a) name sounded fun and b) I like shiny things.EW FEET! Well how else was I supposed to show you? The bottles are deceiving.

HAPPY WEEKEND,

Nora

What are your little “obsessions”?

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This morning my internal alarm clock went off at the ungodly hour of 5am. I told myself to go back to sleep but after a little tossing and turning I realized that all hope was lost and decided to give into nature and start my day. Now, I do not normally have breakfast until  8-8:30am, but I couldn’t picture myself waiting that long and again gave in around 6. I did not want to prepare anything in my kitchen because banging around pots and pans/using the microwave at 6am while my roommate was still sleeping would have been rude, so I did a bit of a “throw together”. I tried something a little bit new (pun intended) and had a Banana-Walnut Gnu Bar, apple and Chobani Champions Strawberry-Banana Yogurt with 1 TBS almond butter and 2 tsp Chia seeds. WHOA, Fiber/Protein galore! This is not how I typically eat breakfast but for some reason I was starving and this definitely satisfied my hunger.

The Gnu bar was extremely soft and seedy. I liked the flavor but the bar was a little too light for me for the morning. I think it would have made a better afternoon snack. I also really liked this flavor of Chobani. I think of their Champion line, I like this and the mixed-berry the best. It had a nice balance of flavor and the yogurt was  thick and creamy.

I was running around all morning and had a coffee with soy milk and the most amazing snack ever. I wish I had a picture but it was natural chunky apple sauce, almond butter and a chopped Medjool date with cinnamon HEATED! The melted almond butter made the apple sauce almost pudding like, it was delicious. Wow, I have had my fair share of almond butter today. Aside from adding it to everything, I also almost always have a few licks straight from the jar as I prepare. No wonder they go so quickly! Needless to say I am starving, so I’m off to make some lunch.

Listening to Nature,

Nora

Do you ever have “throw together” meals?

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