What I Ate Wednesday #112: Taking It Easy

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relishing every single second at home. I’ve spent my last 2 afternoons with this cute little nugget.
Jilly Bean

She’s a big fan of walking right now and even though she may be walking right by me, just being with her is the best! She really is the cutest.. I’m not biased at all either, you know.

Between all of the travel and excitement, I’ve been doing my best to keep my diet up to par with my normal eating, but I have to admit, it’s not my first concern. I’ve taken very few pictures which is so rare for me. But it’s nice to let my brain go for a change.

[Pre- & Post-Workout]
Think Thin Pumpkin Spice Lean Protein Fiber Bar
Before my workout, I grabbed a handful of trail mix to get a little something in my stomach. And almost immediately after my workout, I trained my dad. In between, I had one of these limited edition Think Thin bars. These new lean protein & fiber bars are some of my faves!

[Breakfast]
Protein Oatmeal Almond Butter Egg Whites Cinnamon Coffee
I was shocked when my mom didn’t have any homemade nut butters on hand when I got here so that had to change immediately! I grabbed some almonds from the store and whipped up a batch of almond butter for my oats.

[Lunch]
Grilled Salmon Mediterranean Greek Salad
I’ve been doing a pretty solid job of not finishing breakfast until close to 11 a.m. which means late lunches have been what’s up. I was out shopping with my mom and we stopped at a nice cafe for lunch. The salmon on this Mediterranean salad was so good! And it was the perfect fuel to finish my shopping date and head over to see my little bean.

[Dinner]
Iowa Girl Eats Crispy Buffalo Chicken
This is an older picture from the last time I made the crunchy stuffed buffalo chicken, but that’s what was on the menu last night with roasted potatoes, eggplant, and salad. Mom and I have been making a pretty good team in the kitchen. Thanksgiving’s going to be fun! 🙂

[Evening Snack]
I spotted some SweetTango apples at the store the other day.. they’re pretty much my favorite aside from Fuji, so I snagged a bunch! And to top it off, I had a spoonful of almond butter. Best way to start and end your day!

Food for Thought

Do you have a favorite meal when you go home?

What I Ate Wednesday #109: Fueling for Opening Day

Friends, today is a big day. It’s not just Wednesday. It’s opening day for Truve! It has certainly been a long process [and I wasn’t even around for much of it!] but that’s part of what makes opening so exciting. I can’t wait to work with my clients at a brand new facility with lots of new equipment that I haven’t had much of a chance to play with.. like kettlebells! Oooh my clients are going to hate me 😉

Anywho, clearly yesterday I had to properly fuel myself for the occasion. You know, all that excitement really drains me. Ha!

[Breakfast]
Protein Egg White Oats Oatmeal Almond Peanut Butter
Tired of seeing this yet? Well, I’m certainly not tired of eating it! My new favorite thing, however, is to prep it the night before. Toss in a little extra almond milk in the morning and throw in the microwave for a few minutes and I’m good to go. I’m also loving sprinkling a little salt on top. Try it. Trust me.

[Mid-Morning Snack]
Think Thin Creamy Peanut Butter Protein Bar
All I wanted was peanut butter and chocolate. And thank goodness for my ThinkThin bars! So good.

[Lunch]
Kale Avocado Sweet Potato Turkey Burger Persimmon
Sunny day lunch outside is the best. A 20 lb [ok, that’s an exaggeration..] kale salad with Monday night’s turkey burger, sweet potato, snow peas, cucumber, and persimmon. A wonderful combo. Topped it off with a dark chocolate pretzel. I only bring 1 with me to work because I know if I bring more, I’ll eat ’em all!

[Afternoon Snack]
Unpictured: homemade ginger kombucha and peanut butter. Right outta the jar. Give me a spoon and I’m a dangerous gal!
Buffalo Popcorn
Still feeling snacky though, I went for some popcorn drizzled with buffalo sauce. Dang, that was a good choice.

[Dinner]
Pomegranate Chicken Brussels Sprouts Bacon Red Kuri Squash
Pomegranate chicken, bacon pom brussels, and roasted red kuri squash. Use your imagination to double the brussels and squash and that’s probably closer to what I actually ate 😉 This was my first time having red kuri squash and it’s fabulous! So creamy and sweet. My last kabocha was dryer than dry so this definitely more than made up for that.

[Evening Snack]
Apple and 2 dark chocolate salted cashews. Again, if I don’t close the bag after 1 or 2 cashews, I’ll eat ’em all. Kind of like my spoon and PB jar issue.. or non-issue, depending on who you ask.

I think I’m properly fueled for tonight’s opening.. but just in case, you can expect more oatmeal, nut butters, and salad on the menu today 😉

Food for Thought

What food is your weakness?
Have you ever salted your oatmeal?

An Ode to Oatmeal: Protein-Packed TVP Oats

Have you entered my Chobani giveaway?

I’ve recently gotten a few requests for my go-to oatmeal recipe. I may be a bit obsessed [read: eat them every single day] but I just can’t stop! And frankly I see nothing wrong with that. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? 😉

Protein TVP Oats

Protein TVP Oats

Serves 1

Ingredients
– 2 egg whites
– 1/2 banana
– 1/2 cup almond milk + splash at the end
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/4 cup rolled oats
– 1/4 cup TVP* [If you don’t have TVP, just substitute another 1/4 cup of oats]
– Cinnamon. Lots of cinnamon!
– Your fave nut and/or seed butters [Optional.. but why wouldn’t you?!]
– Your fave granola [Optional.. see note above]

Directions
In a small pot, scramble your egg whites and put them off to the side. I add cinnamon to mine as they’re cooking, but you can just leave them plain.

Break up the banana into the pot and toss it with a sprinkle of cinnamon to coat. Add almond milk and water. Mash up the banana into the liquid until there are almost no chunks. Add the oats and TVP and bring to a light boil, then turn down to a simmer.

When the oats are almost finished cooking, add the egg whites back in with a splash of almond milk. This will make it creamier and help to incorporate the egg into the mix. When they’re done, top with 1 tbsp nut/seed butter [and another sprinkle of cinnamon!]

I can never decide which nut/seed butter to use so I typically split my tablespoon into 3 teaspoons of different ones.. it makes it that much more exciting 😉 I also throw a little granola on top for a some crunch! [Michele’s is the best!]

*You can purchase TVP from iHerb.com. Use discount code ZAF482 at checkout for up to $10 off your purchase!

Nutritional Information

Per serving, without optional toppings

254 Calories  /  4g Fat  /  31g Carbs  /  5g Fiber  /  11g Sugar  /  24g Protein

Food for Thought

What is your favorite breakfast? What’s your favorite way to dress up oatmeal?

What I Ate Wednesday #42: My Current Loves

When I suddenly realized that it was time for another edition of WIAW, I also realized that I have unfortunately not been doing a great job of taking pictures of my food and also of switching up what I’m eating. So because I’ve been eating so much of the same, I thought I’d share the favorites that continue to reoccur on my plate.

Barr & Table What I Ate Wednesday WIAW Micheles Granola Pistachio Lemon Seasonal Fresh Beet Juice Avocado Tomatillo Salsa Protein Oatmeal Proats

[Breakfast]
I’m on an oatmeal kick again and I just can’t shake it [not that I’m trying to..] Here’s my favorite recipe as of late..

– 2 egg whites
– 1/2 cup oats
– 1/2 cup lite coconut or almond milk
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 banana
– Cinnamon. All of it. I love cinnamon

Toppings
– 1 tbsp nut butters [I usually do 3 tsps of different nut butters!]
– Sprinkling of granola; my go-to right now is Michele’s Pistachio Lemon.. it’s a seasonal flavor and SO good!

Cook the egg whites separately with a sprinkle of cinnamon and set aside. Add milk, water, banana, and cinnamon to the pot and mash the banana until it melts in. Add oats and bring to a boil, then simmer until almost cooked through. Add egg whites back in and combine. Pour into a bowl and top with nut butter, granola, and a little more cinnamon. I told you, I love cinnamon!

[Lunch]
Spinach and cabbage salads with tons of fresh veggies, turkey quinoa burger

, and the easiest guacamole in the world. I take 1/4 avocado and mash it up with whatever salsa I have on hand. Right now I’m using tomatillo salsa and it’s crazy good!

[Dinner]
We’ve been crazy busy lately [oh, weddings..] so dinners have been out a lot. Or just the usual roasted vegetables and whatever protein I can get my hands on!

[Snacks]
Pink lady beet juice [out of old coconut oil jars.. it’s normal]
– Apples
– Yogurt [Chobani.. duh]
KIND bars

Food for Thought

What are you current go-to foods or meals?

Foodie Friday: Banana Brûlée Protein Pancake

A year and a half ago, I would head into work and eat a Fiber One bar at my desk. I called that breakfast.

And now? Oh man, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! If I could eat protein pancakes and oatmeal all day, everyday, I would be the happiest of campers. So it really shouldn’t surprise you that I came up with yet another protein pancake to satisfy my cravings.

Banana Brûlée Protein Pancake

Serves 1

Barr & Table Banana Brulee Protein Pancake Protein Plus Peanut Fluff

Ingredients
1 banana, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 egg whites
2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Hot Cereal* [can be substituted with ground flax]
2 tbsp Perfect Fit Protein
1/2 tbsp chia seed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 packet stevia

Optional Toppings
Peanut fluff [2 tbsp peanut flour*, 1 packet stevia, & water to reach desired consistency]
Maple syrup
Berries
Chocolate chips

*These ingredients can be found on iHerb.com. Use code ZAF482 to receive $5 off of your first order.

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mash 1/2 banana with applesauce and egg whites. Add in the rest of the ingredients, except the other 1/2 banana & stevia, and mix until well incorporated.

Slice the other 1/2 of the banana. Pour batter into a greased, 8″ non-stick skillet or cake pan and press the banana slices into the top of the pancake. Place your pancake in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until set.

Once set, take the pancake out of the oven and sprinkle with stevia. If you have a kitchen torch, go ahead and torch the bananas, if not, place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the bananas have caramelized.

Remove from the oven, top with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

Nutritional Stats
Per pancake without toppings

304 Calories  /  4g Fat  /  49g Carbs  /  11g Fiber  /  21g Sugar  /  26g Protein

Food for Thought

What is your favorite meal of the day? Do you prefer sweet or savory breakfasts?

Foodie Friday: Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Pancake

I’d like to introduce you to my new love.

I’m not sure what came over me, but one night as I was thinking about what to make for breakfast the next morning (what, don’t you think about your breakfast immediately after finishing dinner?) and it hit me; dark chocolate and cherries. Duh! Why hadn’t I done this before?!

I took a mental inventory of my pantry and the next morning, I made my dream a reality. And it’s so very dreamy.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Pancake

Serves 1

Barr & Table Foodie Friday Hersheys Dark Chocolate Cherry Protein Pancake

Ingredients
3 egg whites
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Hot Cereal [you can sub ground flax]
2 tbsp chocolate protein powder [I used PlantFusion]
2 packets stevia
1 tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder [I used Hershey’s]
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp dried cherries [you can sub other dried fruits like raisins, goji berries, cranberries, etc]
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Optional Toppings
Banana slices
Peanut fluff [2 tbsp peanut flour, 1 packet stevia, & water to reach desired consistency]
Unsweetened shredded coconut
Sliced almonds
Dark chocolate chips
Dried fruit

Many of these ingredients can be found on iHerb.com. Use code ZAF482 to receive $5 off of your first order.

Directions
Heat a small 8″ pan over medium-low heat. Mix all of your ingredients together and grease your pan. Pour your batter in and let cook about 5-6 minutes on the first side, or until it is sturdy enough to flip. After flipping, finish cooking about 2 minutes on the other side.

Nutritional Stats
Per serving without toppings

245 Calories  /  5g Fat  /  29g Carbs  /  7g Fiber  /  11g Sugar  /  26g Protein

Food for Thought

What is your favorite protein pancake you’ve ever made? Do you go towards a sweeter preparation or a simple, plain pancake?

Foodie Friday: Chocolate Protein Oats

I already have my breakfast planned for tomorrow.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and while this week I’ve been on a protein pancake kick, I’m ready to start the weekend with my favorite breakfast; chocolate protein oats.

Barr & Table Chocolate Protein Coach's Oats Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread Fig Tone It Up TIU Bombshell Spell

More specifically, Coach’s Oats. I’ve recently been introduced to these little lovely bites and don’t ever want to go back to regular oats again. These oats aren’t rolled, but they aren’t steel cut either. They do, however, have that same texture and bite as steel cut oats, which is my favorite, but cook in no time like rolled oats!

Coach’s Oats are prepared in an entirely new way. The groats are toasted to bring the natural sugars to the surface of the oat, then cracked into small pieces. This patented Cracked n’ Toasted™ process means that Coach’s Oats are never mushy, always naturally delicious and cook in just 3 to 5 minutes on a stovetop or in the microwave.

Chocolate Protein Oats

Serves 1

Ingredients
3 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup almond milk (Blue Diamond Unsweetened Vanilla is my favorite!)
1/2 banana, mashed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup oats (Coach’s Oats are my favorite, of course!)

Optional Toppings
1/2 tbsp nut butter (I love Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread)
Fruit – figs, banana, strawberries, blueberries, etc
1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
Sprinkling of ground cinnamon

Directions
Heat a small pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add your 3 egg whites and cook through, mashing into small pieces. Once cooked, put the egg whites in a bowl off to the side.

Turn heat to high and add water, almond milk, mashed banana, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and oats to the pot. Stir to incorporate everything and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the head to low and stir until everything has just about come together. For the last minute of cooking, add your egg whites back in and stir well.

Pour everything into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

I immediately top mine with peanut butter.. I truly believe melty peanut butter is the best thing in the world.

Barr & Table Chocolate Protein Coach's Oats Earth Balance Coconut Peanut Spread Fig

Speak Up!

What are your favorite oatmeal toppings? Do you change them up or always reach for the same thing?

Foodie Friday: Coconut Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

As a food lover, and more specifically, a sweets lover, I’m always trying to find ways to create healthier options of my favorite foods. So when Nathan looked at our 2-day-old ciabatta bread and asked me to make bread pudding, I gladly accepted the challenge!

Now, if we’re really talking about healthifying, I would have preferred a wheat-based bread.. maybe a whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread. Mmmmm!

But these are minor details.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

Make 9 – 3″ squares
Adapted from sweetlab

Barr & Table Coconut Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding sweetlab

Ingredients
1/2 stale ciabatta loaf, cubed
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 egg
3 egg whites
1 – 13.66oz can lite coconut milk
3/4 cup unsweetend vanilla almond milk (Or other low- or non-fat milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (Optional – I opted not to add as I was using vanilla almond milk)
2 tbsp agave (Or another form of natural sweetener)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 – 1/2 cup dark chocolate or semi-sweet chips
Pinch of salt

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread shredded coconut over a sheet pan and toast in the oven for about 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a large bowl, mix egg, egg whites, coconut milk, almond milk, vanilla extract, agave, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Add in the cubed bread and half of the toasted coconut. Toss until everything is evenly and well coated.

Grease a 9×9″ pan and scatter a small amount of chocolate chips, about 2-3 tbsp, along the bottom of the pan. Add in half of your bread and coconut mixture. Top that with half of the leftover coconut and about 3/4 of the chocolate chips. Create another layer on top of that of the rest of bread and coconut mixture, topped with the last of the chocolate chips and coconut. Allow to rest in the pan for about 15 minutes.

While resting, preheat oven to 325°F. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean, turning halfway through. Once done, allow to rest about 15 minutes to let everything settle.

Or dig right in and burn your mouth.. it might be worth it! 😉 But don’t say I didn’t warn you!

If you like it a little sweeter, feel free to drizzle more agave or other sweetener on top. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, throw a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on there!

Speak Up!

What’s your favorite bready type of dessert? Are you a bread pudding fan? I never was until just a few years ago.. now I can’t get enough!