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Posts Tagged ‘Walnuts’

Hey everyone! I hope you all survived this Manic Monday! What makes Monday such a crazy day anyways? I swear I always feel like I’m being pulled in 7 directions, running around like a chicken with my head cut off (what a bizarre phrase.). I have lots of studying to get done this evening but wanted to post some of the foods that really hit the spot today. I love when I eat something and it is EXACTLY what I wanted.

“Breakfast” (I have to put this in quotes because this is not something I would typically consider breakfast.):

For once in my life I didn’t feel like making breakfast and I was in a rush to study. Good thing I have an ample bar supply! I know I said before that I wasn’t fond of these Chocolate Cherry Almond Luna Protein Bars but I think they are growing on me. When I went to my stash I was thinking Chocolate Peanut Butter Luna but this little guy just jumped out at me. It  COMPLETELY hit the spot and this mini meal held me over for a few hours!

Lunch:I’m still working on cleaning out my fridge  and I was craving some hummus and cheese on toast so lunch today was a monster sandwich. This monster contained: 2 slices of Ezekiel Bread, Cedar’s Original Hummus, Swiss Cheese, spicy brown mustard, spinach, cucumber, sprouts, Roma tomato and turkey breast. On the side I had watermelon and a Honeynana Chobani Champions with blackberries and 1 TBS walnuts.

Lunch was also supposed to have this beet, carrot, celery and ginger juice, but I think the beet was a little overripe (bad part of cleaning the fridge…things you forgot you had gone to waste 😦 ) and it tasted a little off.

After lunch I went to Barnes and Noble to study and of course I got a Grande Non-Fat Cinnamon Dolce Latte.I think I have it set in my head that I need a warm, sweet, foamy latte in my hands in order to focus on tedious material. I also had a bite of a Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Factory Cupcake that they had for sampling! SCORE! Only 4 more days!

Dinner:

Brace yourself…

All day long at the Barnes and Noble cafe I kept smelling coffee, peanut butter (they have amazing peanut butter cup cookies that they heat up!) and maple. I was also FREEZING thanks to their work conducive temperatures so I wanted something cozy for dinner. I saw this sweet potato and baked beans concoction on Caitlin’s blog, and knew I had to try it. I picked up some Bush’s Original Baked Beans (has bacon, not the vegetarian!) a while ago anticipating the day when I would make this. I roasted the potato in the oven at 450 for about 40 minutes. I almost cooked the sweet potato in the microwave but I LOVE eating the skin, and it gets crispy and caramelized when you roast it in the oven 🙂 . I cut the sweet potato open, sprinkled it with cinnamon and topped it with baked beans. HOLY COW! Caitlin, you are a genius! This is the most surprisingly fantastic thing I’ve ever consumed. I swear I would be a very happy girl if I had this every night for the rest of my life. On the side I had some roasted broccoli, carrot fries and dill pickles. Everything was dipped in ketchup, even the sweet potato.

Dessert:

I was feeling a bit “All-American-Cookout” after dinner and decided to continue this theme for dessert.I give you: Vanilla Bean Frozen Yogurt topped with cinnamon, chunky natural apple sauce, a chopped Medjool Date and Kopali Dark Chocolate Covered Cacao Nibs. This tasted like a wholesome apple crumble. The date pieces give a nice maple flavor, and harden for an extra chewy texture. It was only missing one thing: Peanut Butter. I dove back into my freezer candy stash after the photo for a miniature Reese Peanut Butter Cup. Perfection.

Now I am full and satisfied and ready to get back to work. I find it makes SUCH a difference when I study with a full and happy belly. I am a million times more focused and productive. Although, I do start day dreaming about all of the things I want to make post-graduation after a few hours of reading Freud.

Studying Hard,

Nora

What is your favorite simple and satisfying meal?

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My apartment smelled FANTASTIC this morning as I baked this dish. Now, you might think that spending a half hour making a weekday breakfast is silly, but I promise you that it is worth it. I have been thinking about banana bread the past few days, and love the combination of dates and walnut so I thought, “Why not make a baked banana oatmeal with Banana, Walnuts and Medjool Dates?”

I woke up to another cold and rainy morning today, and decided I needed a little comfort before leaving for class. In to a medium bowl I combined: 1/2 mashed banana (save a few slices for garnish), 1/2 TBS Chia Seeds, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Vanilla; mix to combine. Add 1/3 cup rolled oats, 1 TBS chopped walnut (plus have another walnut half for garnish), and 1.5 Medjool Dates, Chopped (reserve a few for garnish). Add to an oven safe bowl sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, garnish and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes. When it was finished I added a glob of Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt and Honey.

I loved the warmth of this hearty dish. Chia seeds are optional, but I really like them for the extra thickness and nutty crunch they provide, as well as the added health benefits!!

Warmth and Comfort,

Nora

Have you ever tried baked oatmeal? What is your favorite way to prepare oatmeal?

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I have been dying to “experience” chia seeds ever since I started reading about them on blogs. I think I may have entered every single chia giveaway in the blogsphere in hopes of obtaining some of these babies. Well, I was tired of waiting and finally made my purchase! What is so special about chia seeds you ask? Well according to the handout next to the display:

“They are loaded with omega-3 fay acids, and hey have among the highest antioxidant activity of any whole food–even more than fresh blueberries. And they do good things for the body like keeping blood pressure and blood sugar under control”…”Chia seeds come from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows in southern Mexico. In pre-Columbian times, chia seeds were a component of Aztec warriors; they even played a role in religious ceremonies. Supposedly, 1 BS of the seeds could sustain a person for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to relieve joint pain and skin conditions.”….”Unlike flaxseed, chia seeds can be stored for long periods of time without becoming rancid and don’t require grinding (whole flax seed is hard to digest).”

2 TBS of Chia Seeds have approximately 7 g of fiber, 4g of protein, 205mg calcium and 5g of omega-3’s. They have a nutty flavor, and because they are easily digested whole, they can be sprinkled on yogurt or salads. They are also a nice addition to baked goods when ground.

I have seen chia seeds added to oats and yogurt, creating a voluminous mix. I couldn’t decide (theme lately?) so I added them all together to make: Carrot Cake Overnight Oats. I have oddly been craving carrot cake, and decided i would be a nice base to try my Artisana Coconut Butter with.

In the mix: 1/3 cup instant oats, 1/3 cup Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt, 1/3 cup Vanilla Soy Milk, 1/2 large carrot shredded (reserve some for topping), 1/2 TBS chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract. Combine all ingredients and let sit in fridge over night. In the morning top with: reserved shredded carrot, 1 TBS Organic Jumbo Raisins, 1 TBS Chopped Walnut, 1 TBS Artisana Coconut Butter.

The Verdict: Holy thickness!! I actually added some water (few tablespoons) to the mix after. Next time I’m going to add more liquid than yogurt. I LOVED the addition of chia seeds. They absorb liquid, and expand (a bit like tapioca?) to provide a nutty little crunch to every spoonful. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the coconut butter. When I opened the jar it looked like paste and looked a bit gritty. I heated it for a few seconds with a splash of soy milk in the microwave and could SMELL the intense coconut! It was amazing, and I most certainly licked the bowl I warmed it in! I loved this combination, and hey, getting a veggie in the morning isn’t bad either! I wanted to add banana to the mix but didn’t have any good and ripe ones on hand. I think next time I make these I am going to add 1/2 a banana whipped into the oats and slice the other half for topping.

Chia Me,

Nora

Have you tried chia seeds? What is your favorite use?

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Oy Vey! This post is somewhat gross, but has a feel good ending so stay tuned.

Having your eyes glued shut is NOT a good way to wake up in the morning. Lately I’ve been having a bit of sinus pressure, nothing serious, but it has come with post nasal drip and some eye puffiness. My eyes started feeling a bit swollen last night when I was working at the bakery. I thought maybe it was just the intense cold and blizzard condition snow getting to me. As the night went on I realized that I was feeling a little fuzzy, and that the weather probably wasn’t the main cause. My contact fell out of my left eye, and shortly after, that eye became irritated. I have had stray bread crumbs rip contacts before so thought that might have happened. All of my speculation was of course wrong. I woke up today with PINK EYE! Super. And, in both of my eyes! Seriously, who gets pink eye after the age of 5? I have no idea how I got it, but I was absolutely miserable. While I was waiting to go to the doctor to get a cure for my infection, I decided to do all that I could to cure my misery. The best way to make a bad day better: good food. I needed something warm and hearty, the result: Pumpkin Bread Oats.

Pumpkin Bread Oats Before

The delicious oats post mixing!

It was fantastically creamy and flavorful. I love the way raisins become plump and soft when you give them moisture, and the nuts were, of course, hearty, satisfying and gave that necessary little bit of crunch. The one element I added to this oatmeal that I don’t typically add was wheat germ. It is virtually flavorless, but adds a slight texture; I think they made my oats a bit thicker. I have been reading about the health benefits and thought it would be a nice addition to my morning meal. It contains 23 nutrients; more than any other grain or vegetable, and has more potassium than any other food source. Two tablespoons of wheat germ has 60 calories, 4g of protein and 6% DV of iron (good for women!!). Even if my eyes are sick…at least my body will be healthy! My Pumpkin Bread Oats were warm, comforting and made the world of difference in my sad, sad day.

Washing My Hands Compulsively (I don’t want anyone else to suffer!),

Nora

What are you favorite “turn that frown upside down” dishes?

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