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Posts Tagged ‘Fruit Not Fat’

Happy Earth Day!

I wanted to start my day with a piece of earth aka a Green Monster and Granola. Into my blender went: 1 frozen banana, 2/3 scoop chocolate whey protein, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood, 1 handful of spinach (what was left in my bag), 2 tsp Hershey’s Unsweetened Cacao powder, 1/3 cup pumpkin, cinnamon, 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 cup water and 3 ice cubes. I’m not sure if it is the pumpkin or the cinnamon that makes this combination so delicious, but it is my favorite green monster concauction I have tried. The pumpkin makes it amazingly creamy and flavorful.

I recently ran out of my new favorite Galaxy Vanilla Almond granola, so I had to pick up another at the grocery store. My grocery store does not carry Galaxy (I bought it at a natural foods store) and I wasn’t in the mood to buy Bear Naked Vanilla Almond, so I decided to give the Nature’s Path version a try. I tried a bite straight from the box before topping my bowl and it had such a familiar taste that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. After brief deliberation, I decided that it tasted like a Rice Krispie Treat! It was good, but I think I prefer it as a snack because it is so light and airy. Galaxy granola still owns my heart for granola toppings because it has such amazing flavor and crunch up until the last bite!

This was such a refreshing and hearty breakfast. I grabbed an apple before running out the door to sooth my need for “crunch” and “juice”. I think I might be slightly dehydrated because I woke up with a bit of a headache. I’ll make it a point to have some more water today, I don’t think I drink enough.

Tangent– I am a granola girl. I have tried almost every granola on the shelves at my grocery store, and I buy homemade versions at the farmer’s market when I see something new. I’m always trying new varieties, and I have not found a better flavor and crunch than Galaxy.

Also, I forgot to add to my late night post the highlight of my day: $4.95 sale on Mangia Crunchy Almond Butter! This stuff is usually almost $10 and I’ve never tried it! It does look delicious and has a nice layer of oil and nut pieces floating on the top of the jar! My other jar is almost finished, and I can’t wait to try this!

Earth Friendly,

Nora

Are you doing anything special for earth day?

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Apparently I have an over packing problem.  I struggle to close sandwiches, wraps and omelets in the same way that I struggle with my suit case every time I travel.

This morning I woke up and decided it was an egg day. The sky was dark and a misty rain was present in the cold air. I thought about oatmeal and pancakes but knew I needed something a bit more savory. My solution: egg-white omelet with spinach, broccoli, mushroom, tomato, vegetarian sausage (I crumbled up a Yves and heated it with my veggies) and feta cheese, a side of whole wheat toast with raspberry jam, coffee and orange juice. I do not make omelets for breakfast often (they are more of a dinner dish for me) because I have an extreme “sweet breakfast” complex, so when I do I tend to go a little overboard. I somehow managed to get it on my plate in a presentable manner, and topped it with Sriracha hot sauce and cracked black pepper. It was the perfect breakfast for this cold morning, and filled me well.

After breakfast I went to a Vinyasa yoga class.  Let me tell you there is nothing better than doing relaxing yoga in a warm room when it is miserable outside. It brings out a whole new uplifting mood! When the class was finished the clouds parted, the sun was shining and the sky was a brilliant shade of blue. Although the temperature was still in the upper 40’s it was an amazingly beautiful day! After class I stopped by the grocery store to visit my co-workers and pick up some produce. I think that my 10am yoga class followed by grocery shopping is becoming my Sunday routine. I picked up some goodies for dinner and headed home for lunch.

I was parched after yoga and shopping so I wanted something refreshing for lunch aka a green monster, granola and raw almonds bowl, apple, carrot, green grapes and Medjool dates with almond butter. I mixed up my green monster a bit, my combination was: 1 large frozen banana, 3 large fresh strawberries, 1 scoop chocolate whey protein, 2 big handfuls of spinach, 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk, cinnamon, cacao and vanilla extract. The strawberries gave it a darker color so it looked like sludge. Since it wasn’t an exciting lunch I neglected pictures but it looked something like this (didn’t I have the same thing last Sunday haha…yep!) with about a cup of big green grapes and a large carrot.Miss Congeniality is on TV and I have a bunch of work to do so it is going to be a stay-in day. I have something nice planned for an early dinner before going to a 7pm meeting.  I love having relaxing Sundays. When I was younger my family would attend church together, have a great brunch, do yard/house/school work all day and gather for a thoughtful and comforting dinner. It was the perfect way to end a hectic week, and refresh ourselves for the week to come. I now see why Sunday is meant to  be a day of rest.

Peace and Love,

Nora

Do you usually do something special on Sunday?

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It’s official. I am in a breakfast rut. My oat comeback yesterday must have been a fake out because this morning I was craving a green monster and granola. I wasn’t planning on having ANOTHER smoothie this morning, but when cravings call I answer. This is possibly the most uninteresting breakfast to photograph, and I realize how repulsive the green looks but I promise you it really hits the spot. I find that my breakfast cravings tend to reflect the way I am feeling. I had a late night with friends yesterday, which left me dragging when I woke up this morning. Green smoothies are the perfect remedy when I am feeling lethargic upon waking. They are light, yet pack tons of essential nutrition and have an “energizing” effect. In to my blender: 1 large frozen banana, 1/4 cup frozen raspberries, 3 ice cubes, 1 scoop Chocolate Whey Protein, 1 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfood, 1 cup vanilla soy milk, ~2-3 cups of spinach. I topped my bowl with some Galaxy Granola and raw almonds. I’m glad I have a few deep soup bowls because this smoothie yields over 3 cups!

To add to my lameness, I had another Jonagold and coffee before heading to class. I’m starting to feel like a lame food blogger. I’m in need of some creativity!

Dinner last night was a quick throw together with my roommate. I love cooking, but sometimes it is nice to dig into the depths of your fridge and make a 3 minute plate of food. I ended up having a “Semi-Greek Salad” which consisted of HUGE plate of spinach (I was having a major spinach craving after a green free day haha!) topped with a toasted Boca burger, lots of Cedar’s Garlic Lovers Hummus, pita chips, cucumber, red bell pepper, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and sprouts. After dinner I broke into….EASTER CANDY!! Remember my second bunny?

Last seen.

Well, it no longer has a back pack to carry all of its yummy carrots in. I also made a dent in my peanut M&Ms. What remains:

Hopefully my eats will progressively become more interesting through out the day! Tonight I am going to an “etiquette” dinner with my roommate. Our friends who cooked us dinner a few days ago are in a fraternity, and one of their projects is to host a nice dinner and learn table manners! Somewhat random but naturally, I love this concept. I’m not positive who my “date” will be, but it will be interesting to be educated the traditional ways of fine dining. When it comes to etiquette, I think that stopping to take photos is probably a no-no (whoops!) but I’ll see what I can do with my sneaky iphone photo taking skills!

Happy Friday,

Nora

What do you do when you are in a food rut? Do you go with it or try new and creative things?

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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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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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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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Maybe it’s just me, but my daily food choices are DEFINITELY inspired by the weather. Reflecting on some of my daily eats, I realized that certain flavors and textures are more appealing to me based on the temperature. It was gorgeous and sunny around lunch time, and all I wanted was either a loaded salad or a veggie hummus wrap. Since lunch had to be portable today (working at a desk in this picture), I went to a campus eatery that has to-go containers. I am the annoying girl in the salad line that has to get everything…I can’t help it I love everything, and lets face it, salads are never really THAT filling. In this mix: mixed greens, romaine, spinach, broccoli, bean sprouts, tofu, mushrooms (sliced bella and marinated portabella strips), mandarin oranges, feta cheese, carrots,  and snow peas along side a juicy apple. This hit the spot, but a few short hours later it was time for a snack.

I relished in the weather as I walked outside to a local cafe to study. I sat at a cozy table near a window so I could continue to enjoy the playful sun and craved a tropical bite as I worked. I’m not really a pineapple/coconut girl, but the Tropical Fruit Tart LaraBar was screaming my name. I’ve always wanted to try this flavor, but it has never sounded particularly appealing to me until today. I LOVED IT. I kept questioning why I had avoided this flavor for so long, because I have tried every other Larabar. It was sweet and appropriately nutty. I could taste the orange and coconut the most with a slight hint of pineapple and crunchy almond. This was so satisfying, and I washed it down with an iced tea. Maybe I think I’m still on Spring Break?

After a few solid hours of work, I decided to head back to my apartment before it got dark out. As I walked, the air was a bit cooler, and it reminded me of a quintessential fall day. I love the flavors of the fall. My mom always made roasted acorn squash, turkey, stuffing, baked apples…all the warm comforting flavors you crave on a cool evening. Obviously, food carries a lot of sentiment (I miss home!) to me and I decided to make Seared Chicken with Balsamic Mushrooms, Warm Kabocha Salad and Lemon Steamed Green Beans. I seared the chicken in olive oil (about 4-5 min per side) and removed it from the pan. I then sauteed 1/4 of a Spanish Onion, added sliced bella mushrooms and balsamic vinegar until it reduced. When the reduction was a syrup consistency I topped the chicken with the mixture. For the Warm Kabocha Salad, I coated the Kabocha with olive oil and cinnamon, and roasted it for about 40 minutes. I added it to a bowl of spinach, chopped walnuts, dried cherries and dried blueberries and tossed it all together. This dinner was sweet, savory and represented every element of the fall.

I couldn’t shake my cinnamon craving, and went for a make shift apple pie. I chopped half of a Jonagold Apple, topped with cinnamon and microwaved it for a minute. I added a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and some Galaxy Vanilla Almond Granola. What a great way to end my day. This reminded me of the gigantic apple dumplings my family would purchase from the Farmers Market nearly every Saturday. We would have them for dessert after a thoughtful Sunday dinner. My mom would bake them in the oven, and the sweet-syrup-goodness would start seeping out the pie crust cover. They were always topped off with large scoops of vanilla ice cream, and it was heavenly. I’m still not sure how each member of my family was able to eat a whole one; they were so large that they only fit in our over sized soup bowls!

Memories,

Nora

Do particular foods strike memories for you?

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