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Archive for the ‘Oatmeal’ Category

I must share something, I have a New Food Love.  It’s with Wheat Berries.

But First Check out my New Tea Mug. It’s a wide mouth mason jar with a Cuppow Lid. I love it. I received the Cuppow lid in one of my Vegan Conscious Boxes. On a cold day the mason jar also doubles as a hand warmer.

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My new tea mug sure does complement my Oats in a Jar, Jar! I love jars, containers, bins, baskets and anything else that stores and organizes items. I love glass jars for food storage and serving food.

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So on to the Wheat Berries. I found these in the bulk bin section at Whole Foods and needed to try them out. I love grains and this is one I have not tried.

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After soaking them overnight, I drained and rinsed. Then add 2-1/2 cups of water and boiled for 35 minutes. NOTE: Just make sure that you do not let all the water boil out. Stir occasionally. I kept my eye on them the entire cook time, I made the mistake once and walked away while boiling rice, and all the water boiled out and I had a terrible mess in my saucepan. NEVER AGAIN.

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They are very chewy with a nutty flavor, they are now on my favorite list. Not sure why I waited so long to try them. Oh yeah, I know why…The closest Whole Foods is 40 some miles away from me and I have not found them anywhere else. Well now that I know, I can stock up and keep on hand. Win, Win.

I have been adding a 1/4 of a cup of cooked wheat berries to my Oats in a Jar Oatmeal.

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Here’s some helpful information I found on Wheat Berries over at The Food Network.

Wheat berries are a true whole grain! You may not recognize the name, but without these kernels, there would be no flour. Wheat berries are loaded with nutrients and are as easy as rice to prepare — perfect for a meal any time of year.

What are wheat berries?
Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. They look like thick, short grains — similar to brown rice. Industrious folks grind them into whole wheat flour for baking; you may not have the time to regularly grind your own flour, but it’s a fun thing to try at least once.

When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold salad dressings and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey and cinnamon.

If you like sprouts on salads and sandwiches, add a little water to wheat berries and you can grow your own wheat sprouts.

Why are wheat berries “Healthy Eats”?
Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles.

What do you do with wheat berries?
Look for wheat berries at a health food store or in the natural foods section of your local supermarket.

Prepare wheat berries in boiling water — just like other grains. Add cooked wheat berries to soups or even chili. Serve hot as a side dish with hearty mushrooms or cold for a satisfying salad full of flavor and whole grain goodness. Wheat berries have nutty flavor so they’re great with fresh vegetables and dried fruit such as cherries or cranberries.

Read more at: blog.foodnetwork.com

Now here some of my snacks from the week.

Kale Chips, always a favorite.

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Hail Merry Macaroons I received in my Vegan Conscious Box. Chocolate Craving CRUSHED by these little Macs.

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I made my husband this Decadent Apple Caramel Cake. He saw it while grocery shopping and added it to the cart. (?)

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It was good, but really sweet. He loved it, and that’s all that matters, sometimes you have to indulge on not so homemade, not so healthy items. At least I used my Egglands Best Eggs…

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* Since finding the Wheat Berries and cooking with them I have now located them at a Health Food Store NEAR my home! Dale’s Natural Foods Store in Flint Michigan. I shop here often and turns out they have carried them all along, I guess I just never looked carefully enough in the Bulk Grain Bin Section. Apparently my Observation skills are at an all time LOW.

Check Ya Later.

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Just can’t get enough of Your Love Baby. A while back I made my first batch of Amaze-Balls, check them out here. I am a bit obsessed. So easy to make and such a great healthy option.

Craving chocolate and cookies what do you do? You Make Amaze-Balls 2 Ways. Amaze-Balls to the rescue.

First I made Nutella Amaze-Balls.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutella
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Pour oats into food processor and pulse until they become a flour.
  2. Add protein powder and, pulse to combine thoroughly.
  3. Mix in agave, Nutella and vanilla — you can do this by hand if your machine can’t handle it. Pulse a few times and watch your machine. If it seems to be too much, pull dough out and mix by hand.
  4. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls.
  5. Refrigerate. Eat and Enjoy.

Then I made Vanilla Chia Seed Amaze-Balls.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Pour oats into food processor and pulse until they become a flour.
  2. Add protein powder, and pulse to combine thoroughly.
  3. Stir and incorporate 1 Teaspoon of Chia Seeds, then
  4. Mix in agave, Almond butter and vanilla — you can do this by hand if your machine can’t handle it. Pulse a few times and watch your machine. If it seems to be too much, pull dough out and mix by hand.
  5. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls.
  6. Refrigerate. Eat and Enjoy.

Then I made dinner. Isn’t that how everyone does it? So in order to make a quick dinner I grabbed a few ingredient from the fridge, I sort of had an idea of what I wanted to make. I just added this and that based on what I had on hand.

I scrambled some egg whites, toasted an English muffin, sliced a piece of Pastrami Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon and grabbed my avocado and a slice of shape white cheddar cheese and assembled.

I smashed the avocado on one side of the muffin, then just piled on the rest of the ingredients.

End result was this flavorful English muffin sandwich. The sharp cheddar and the salmon really worked well together and the avocado did what it does best and added a smooth mellow creamy texture to each bite. Man, I loved every single bite of this sandwich. Perfection.

Then I ate a few more Amaze-Balls.

Check Ya Later.

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Sneaky Cookie, what….

Breakfast, it’s a must for me. I have found over the years that I need a really good breakfast. I prefer oatmeal to any other foods for breakfast. It sticks with me through the morning, it’s healthy and packed with fiber. So I am always on the hunt for a new recipes or a great new oatmeal idea. I eat OJIA almost every single day. I try to get my husband to eat more oatmeal, but he prefers bowls of cereal in the morning. So every so often I’ll leave him a jar of OIAJ for him to eat as a break from the box cereal, I’m always trying to sell him on the idea of eating daily oats, but he always goes back to cereal. So when I saw this Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie, I thought, how can he resist?

Well he couldn’t, he loved it. It is basically Overnight Oats, but on a plate. So I think I will make this for him a few times a week. I just feel like the protein value and the nutrients in the oats and nut butters are just so important to get the day started, and so void in boxed cereal. I want my husband around for a long time. So I am always trying to improve on the foods we eat.

Sneaky Breakfast Oatmeal Cookie

Adapted from the Fit Fitnessista

In a small bowl, add

1/3 cup oats

1 tbsp nut butter

1/2 scoop protein powder

Stir to combine and use the spoon to break up the nut butter until you have a nice crumbly mixture:

Then Add,

1/8 cup milk of your choice, and mix until fully moistened

Then, Pick your mix-ins. Here’s some ideasBanana, raisins, pumpkin, chocolate chips, nuts

I used a ripe small banana

Stir in your mix-ins of choice

Now, season to taste. Here’s what I added: Stevia, cinnamon, unsweetened coco powder

Plop the mixture onto an appetizer-sized plate and with the back of your spoon, flatten it into a round shape with equal thickness throughout

Put the cookie in the fridge overnight. It will harden slightly from the nut butter and the oats will soften from the milk.

Enjoy a wonderful Sneaky Breakfast Cookie for breakfast.

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Love comes in many shapes and sizes, my new love is in the form of these protein peanut butter balls.

Amaze-Balls is really all I can say about them. Crazy how sometimes the littlest food item packs the most flavor and satisfy my sweet tooth.

I have seen these Protein Balls here and there on other Healthy Living Blogs, but never really saw a flavor that made me stand up and shout, I need those NOW. Yes, I have printed each and every recipe I have seen, but have yet to make them, that was until I saw Calee’s recipe for Chocolate Salty [protein] Balls.

Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Adapted from Life + Running. You have to check out Calee’s blog, she is funny, smart, creative, and strong. She also has a mom named Dena, just in case you were wondering. We both completed the Fitmixer Boot Camp together, and we both attended the Blend Retreat. Her electric personality is contagious, go get some.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1/4 Cup Protein Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Unsweetened Coco Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Directions

  1. Pour oats into food processor and pulse until they become a flour.
  2. Add protein powder and coco powder, and pulse to combine thoroughly.
  3. Mix in agave, peanut butter and vanilla — you can do this by hand if your machine can’t handle it. Pulse a few times and watch your machine. If it seems to be too much, pull dough out and mix by hand.
  4. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls.
  5. Refrigerate. Eat and Enjoy.

I Love these little balls so much. Thanks Calee for such a great recipe. Amaze Balls to the rescue.

Check Ya Later.

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This has been my ride to work for the last week. My husband’s car is in the shop so he has been using mine. So my recreational vehicle has become my main vehicle. I will be the first to admit it, I am a fair weather rider. Well this past week I have ridden in a light sprinkle and 45 degree weather. It was not that bad, but the second I get my car back I am going to rejoice. It’s hard packing all I need for the day in those little side bags. Okay pity part is over.

Oats in a jar or OIAJ, for breakfast.

Added all my favorites, chia seeds, soy milk, nut butter and cinnamon.

Came home to this amazing delight. Popchips sent me a case of there Chili Lime Popchips. I love them, they are such a great company. They were a Blend Retreat sponsor and rewarded any of  the attendees with a 30 day supply for blogging about our experience with popchips. Well that was easy for me, I loved them, I cannot get enough of them.

The chili lime flavor is both spicy hot and sweet, so much flavor, I think  popchips are going to be a staple snack in my house from now on.

Such a satisfying healthy snack. Did I mention that they are all natural flavors and ingredients.

Then I got to dinner. Really excited to try a new recipe for kale.

My little kid, Killian loves him some kale. He loves any green leafy vegetable, well he love all veggies.

Side dish of couscous.

So this recipe for sautéed Kale is easy, it softens it and takes the bitter bite right out.

Cook the onions and garlic with some olive oil, about 5 minutes. Then add the kale and a 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring as needed.

Grilled some chicken breasts.

Put it all together and sprinkled with feta cheese, and dig in.

Love eating on the deck, makes the work week fade away.

Here a Greatest Hits Look Back on a series of Kale posts I have done. Sell you on Kale. Accidents Happen.  With a side of Kale.  Pancakes or Eggs. Anticipation. Keeping up with Kale. Also check out a post that my friend Tamara did over at Wild Blue Wonder for Tofu Kale Triangles.

Wishing you a happy weekend!

Question of the Day: How have you used Kale? Or does seeing recipes for Kale make you want to try it?

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Okay, I think I am addicted to Boot Camps, first there was Tina’s Best Body Boot Camp, then the Boot Camp at the Blend Retreat and now the Fitmixer Boot Camp.  I love organized workout groups, it keeps me motivated and I really look forward to the daily tasks.

So with the Boot Camp I have been introduced to amino’s, well I am excited about this because I really get sore after workouts and the amino’s are supposed to help repair muscle tissue and recover faster.

The entire Boot Camp package looks like this. This will take me through the entire 12 week program.

These are some of the samples I received from the Blend retreat.

The amino’s taste so good, I love the grape flavor.

Along with the powder supplements they also have a healthy diet plan that is designed specifically for each participant from a registered dietitian. Here is my breakfast and lunch. I love to prep my snacks and meals, it keeps me on task and allows more time to concentrate on the workouts. That’s one thing with Boot Camps some of the workouts and moves I am not familiar with, so they usually have videos showing all the moves and proper execution. So I usually watch the video in full, and then I do the workouts. So that can eat up a lot of time, but worth it when you find a new favorite exercise.

After work I head home and get right on my workout’s.

The first day we had a Fit test to complete. The test gauges us at the start of the program and will be repeated mid Boot Camp and then at the end, this will show us how we progressed through the program. My weak area is and has always been my core. I also see from the test that I need to work on my triceps strength. I like that each evening we get our next days workout, a motivational thought, and a nutrition tip of the day. They also have snack suggestions and recipes. So much support is available. Plus on Thursday evenings we have a group conference call. Looking forward to my first call tonight.

Then it’s off to make dinner. I plan on keeping it clean and simple, a lean protein, a hearty carbohydrate and a vegetable, plus the plan even suggests a dinner roll. Love that.

  

Grilled salmon, roasted broccoli and brown rice.

Hello, my name is Dena and I am addicted to Boot Camp.

Check Ya Later.

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Had a great Saturday for many reasons. I did one of my favorite things, I Hiked.  After a hearty Instant Oatmeal Pancake, Jeff and I took a nice long hike at a local farm. Here’s the Instant Oatmeal Recipe and Directions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Packet Instant Oatmeal (any flavor)
  • ½ Banana , Mashed
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon Swanson Organic Cinnamon
  • 13 cup Egg Beaters Egg Substitute

Directions:

  • Mix and combine all ingredients.
  • Pour into non-stick skillet and when you shake the pan and the pancake moves, it’s time to flip.
  • Brown on both sides

     

The farm has a path that runs along the crop, it has not been planted yet, but they will be planting it soon. While we were walking a few of the farmers were out plowing the field.

There are also all these amazing trails through the woods just off the path.

We took a walk through the woods after we walked the path. We know the trails really well and only walk them when it is not hunting season. There are several hunters that hunt the property.

Today I felt brave and climbed up a tree stand. Well almost to the top. I was a bit freaked out about being up so high.

Jeff waited patiently for me to test out my fear’s.

I never realized I had a fear of heights, I normally don’t but I guess the climbing combined with the height is really what got me. I climbed to the top step, but could not step onto the deck, I just took a few pictures and stepped back down the latter really slowly.

I just love hiking through the woods and along the path’s I really cannot think of a better way to spend the day with my husband.

No rest day for the farmers, they always seem to be in the fields this time of year.

We got a bit dirty on the trail, but it was worth it, I had a blast.

I also planning on hitting the trails as often as I can before the Blend Retreat, it’s less than 3 weeks away now. We have a planned hike on the retreats agenda and I want to be ready for it. It always seems like Hiking engages different muscles than walking and the elliptical machine does. So getting a few hikes in before should help.

I’m attending Blend Retreat 2012.

Question of the Day: If you could choose, would you rather Walk, Run or Hike? 

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On a recent trip to Big Lots, I found an end cap with Bob’s Red Mill Products. I was super excited, my grocery store only carries a few of Bob’s Red Mill items, plus it was such a great price.

So I went with a Crock Pot Recipe, Crock your Oats if you will. I thought about doing it over night, but I wanted to watch this batch because I adjusted the recipe a bit. Messing with the original recipe can lead to a fail or can yield a new way of making a dish. I was hoping this was going to be a winner.

This recipe has all of my favorite ingredients, cinnamon, apples and oats. I used apple sauce to replace the butter in this recipe. Also making an appearance is Milled Flaxseed.

Chopping the apples was the most time-consuming part of this recipe, and that really only took about 5 minutes.

I started using Date Sugar in place of brown sugar while baking. It help cut back on unnecessary sugar, but keeps the flavor that is needed in the recipe.

Mixed all the ingredients in the Crock Pot and kept an eye on its progress, I was not sure how long the cook time was going to be so I did a quick stir every hour or so.

Normally I let the crock pot works its magic, but I am so glad I kept checking on it, my cook time was 2 hours less than the original recipe called for. When it started to stick to the bottom and to the side of the crock I could tell it was going to dry out if I left it on any longer, so I did a taste test and found that it was done and ready to serve.

Here’s the end result, they were creamy, and the apple chunks were done to a nice soft texture. I topped with fresh black berries and some additional cinnamon and dug in.

Knowing I want this for breakfast tomorrow, I grabbed my OIAJ Jar and filled it up. I plan on adding some Coconut milk to it when I heat it.

I also portioned out a big old bowl for my husband and another bowl to last over the next few days. Jeff’s portion in the one on the left, but I think he could eat the bowl on the right.  I listed the recipe how I prepared it and what the original recipe called for in (parenthesis). I don’t have anything against butter, but I like to try healthy substitutes for recipes.

Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Adapted from: The Yummy Life

Makes Approximately 6-1 Cup Servings

Cook Time: 5 Hours (Original Recipe calls for 7 hours) 

Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
  • 1-1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
  • 1 teaspoon date sugar (original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 3 tablespoon of unsweetened applesauce (original recipe called for 1-1/2 tablespoons butter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax-seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Optional garnishes: fresh fruit, chopped nuts, dried fruit, maple syrup, additional milk

Directions:

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 5 hours. Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well. To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Note: The original recipe called for 7 hours of cook time on low, but since I altered the recipe I cut off 2 hours from the cook time. 

Question of the Day: Have you ever crocked your oats?

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I love vacations, I love traveling, I love everything about vacations, but with all good things comes the reality of getting back home. I got right on getting my favorite foods prepped and ready to go.

I boiled up some eggs.

I must have my one a day egg, while on vacation I only had one egg and I really missed my favorite source of protein.

In between all my catching up the most important thing is to catch up on all the missed kisses from these 2 crazy kids.

Making a batch of OIAJ, to bring to work as breakfast was a must do item on my list.

I used the last of my peanut butter on this batch of oats, what a bummer, I need to plan grocery shopping trip, how can I survive without peanut butter.

Sticking to my favorite OIAJ. I used 1/2 cup of oats, 1 teaspoon chia seeds, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and my favorite coconut milk with a few shakes of cinnamon.

My parents came down from Upper Michigan to watch our dogs while we were gone and they didn’t eat the bananas I left for them, but that’s okay I need some more for my smoothie stash.

Just peel, slice and bag up and when you need a smoothie, you will have frozen chunks ready to go.

Bagged up my favorite lunch time pretzel snacks.

The organizer in me loves to prep and I love the convenience of having things ready to go, that means I can hit the snooze button 1 time in the morning when I am prepped and ready to go. Count me in.

Question of the Day: What is a good gift to send to someone who hosted you while on vacation?

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Started Monday off with a creamy batch of OIAJ. This is becoming a habit for me, I just can’t get enough oatmeal lately. It’s funny I went through the entire winter stuck on Chobani yogurt topped with cereal, and then it starts to get warm out and I start eating a hot oatmeal breakfast.

I then gave the babies some love. My Killian is getting to be an old boy, he is 14 now and he is getting lumpy, the vet told me that they are just fatty tumors, but some of them are getting quite big. He still acts like a young dog, so that’s a good thing.

I just love there little faces, they make my heart melt. Stuart loves to give kisses and who am I to turn one down.

I found this amazing recipe over at Around The Plate, and knew I had to make it.

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower with Feta

Ingredients: 

1 large head of Cauliflower
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Cumin, to taste
Sea Salt, to taste
Rosemary, to taste
Thyme, to taste

Directions: 

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Separate the cauliflower florets and place in a bowl. Add the Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Cumin and Sea Salt to the Cauliflower. Toss lightly.
3. Place the cauliflower on a sheet pan in a single layer and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower browns on the edges.
4. Remove the cauliflower and place back in the bowl. Add the feta cheese, rosemary and thyme. Mix together.
5. Place the cauliflower and feta back on the sheet pan. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
6. Serve and enjoy!

I upheld the Meatless Monday tradition here at my house and made tofu with noodles and cauliflower for dinner with a dose of fresh cucumbers mixed in.

Last week I picked up the pre-cubed package of tofu. I thought it would save time, but I must say I will stick to the block next time, I didn’t consider how I was going to press out the liquid.

The little cubes also shrunk up quite a bit, but they tasted amazing. I marinated them with 1/3 cup of soy sauce, 1/3 cup of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of oil. I baked on 400 degrees of 15 minutes.

I also boiled up a batch of  Nasoya Japanese noodles.

I just love a big plate of noodles.

After they boiled I rinsed in cold water and then tossed with soy sauce, rice vinegar and touch of oil. I also have a shaker of  seaweed and sesame seeds that I season to taste. You can make cook up the noodles a day in advance, they really soak up all the flavor overnight.

I just layered on some fresh cucumbers, the tofu and the cauliflower with feta.

I really loved the flavor the feta cheese added to the entire dish, I will make this again.

BEST BODY BOOTCAMP

Boot Camp Update: I am really digging the workouts and making progress, I honestly don’t think I have ever been this motivated to workout.

I have also started to add Planking into my everyday workout. I found some motivation from my friend over at Life’s Little Bits. I will be joining her for a daily Plank with her Plank Club. Just start where you are with your first Plank and add 5 seconds to your time every day! Fun right.

Here are the Rules:

1st Rule: You can talk about Plank Club.
2nd Rule: You can talk about Plank Club.
3rd Rule: If your butt drops or raises during the plank, the plank is OVER.
4th Rule: No limits on how many people can plank.
5th Rule: Perfect plank form must be observed at all times.
6th Rule: Wear whatever you feel like, plank naked if you must.
7th Rule: Planks will go on as long as your muscles can handle it.
8th Rule: If you join PLANK CLUB, you HAVE to PLANK.

I love this! I hope you will join us.

Question’s of the day: What’s your favorite meatless meal?  Are you going to join us in some Planking? 

Check Ya Later.

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