Posts Tagged With: Recipe

WIAW Oats, Kale, and Chipotle

My first WIAW! I love looking at everyone’s mid-week eats and decided to join in the fun.  Being the literal person that I am, I took “What I Ate Wednesday” to mean to photograph and post everything consumed today, Wednesday. Imagine my surprise when I didn’t even have a foot out the door this morning and I noticed WIAW posts popping up. Apparently most people post what they ate last Wednesday, or what they ate the previous day, or any other day they choose. Maybe this is why it’s not called “What I Ate ON Wednesday”. 😦 Ah, the omission of one little word. For me, this revelation means that today’s entry is being posted later than most.
WIAW Title Nine Lunch Bag

4 out of my 5 (or 6) meals are generally eaten at work, which means presentation lacks while function wins. I am still on the hunt for the perfect clean eating cooler or bento box. Until then, I bring all my eats in glass (or a few plastic) containers and baggies, and haul them in a tote bag. We visited the Title Nine store in Madison over the weekend, and they packaged my purchase in this cheerful little bag which has now become my temporary lunch tote.

Meal 1: Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats

WIAW Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are so easy! I prefer my oats warm, especially when your furnace goes out on one of the coldest nights of the year; you really don’t want cold oats. I mix it up the night before, put in the fridge, and when I get to work I microwave for 30 seconds to take the chill off. This particular combo was so tasty! I also prefer my oats pretty thick, so if you like yours a bit more watery, wait until morning to see how it looks and add more almond milk as needed. For me, this is the perfect ratio for thick & creamy oats. Here’s my little “recipe”:

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Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • 1 T Dried Tart Cherries
  • 1 T Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams

Directions

  1. Mix oats, almond milk, and cherries in a covered container and place in fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning, microwave container for 30 seconds (or eat cold, if you are into that).
  3. Top with chocolate peanut butter.

Serves 1
288 calories, 42 carbs, 12 fat, 9 protein

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I also added some fresh sliced strawberries to today’s oats.

Meal 2: Alouette Spreadable Italian Herb Cheese Portion with Crunchmaster Crackers

WIAW Crunchmaster Crackers from Costco

These are the new competition to Laughing Cow Cheese Wedges. They come in foil-wrapped 40-calorie portions which makes it easy to throw in a lunch bag. Very smooth and easy to spread. These Crunchmaster Multigrain Crackers are my current favorite cracker. We buy a big box at Costco. They are gluten-free, but do contain soy from the tamari (soy sauce) they use to flavor it with.

Meal 3: Raw Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds & Poppyseed Dressing, Topped with Sliced Cucumbers, Hard-Boiled Eggs & Baby Carrots

WIAW Kale Salad

WIAW Eggs and Carrots

This bagged Sweet Kale Salad by Eat Smart is pretty good! It contains raw finely chopped broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale and chicory with a packet of dried cranberries and roasted pumpkin seeds for a topping. It also comes with a poppyseed dressing which is quite good and works well with the greens. I topped my salad with some cucumbers for a watery crunch, and two hard-boiled eggs for protein. I also had some baby carrots (regular carrots are preferred, but these were actually cheaper that week).

Meal 4: Chobani Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt & Earnest Eats Superfood Trail Mix Bar

WIAW Chobani and Earnest Eats

My favorite Chobani flavor. It was my favorite last year, and still is today. I also wanted something chewy, and these bars from Earnest Eats get the job done.

WIAW Starbucks Americano

On my way home from work, I stopped for an Americano at Starbucks for my evening winter commute. This was my first coffee of the day! Surprisingly, I did not miss the early morning jolt, but I have to admit that this afternoon cup tasted wonderful and made the scenery of frozen cornfields seem less wicked.

Meal 5: Chipotle Bowl with Brown Rice, Barbacoa, Fajita Vegetables, Tomato Salsa & Green Tomatillo Salsa

WIAW Chipotle Bowl

Normally I’d have a salad at Chipotle, but I had a salad for lunch and wanted something warmer so I went with the bowl topped with lots of Tabasco. I can never finish a whole bowl myself, so I saved half of this and will have it for a snack or lunch tomorrow.

Maybe next week I’ll have to do “What I Ate On Tuesday, But Blogged About On Wednesday” to join in the fun a little earlier. 😉

What was your favorite food of the day? Do you feel that keeping a visual food diary helps to keep you accountable on your nutrition goals? Do you eat most of your meals at work?

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Spicy Stuffed Peppers

Here is the recipe that I mentioned yesterday: Spicy Stuffed Peppers!

Paleo Gluten-Free Stuffed Bell Peppers

I wanted something inexpensive, simple, and tasty that could be a one-dish oven meal and these peppers did not disappoint. The subtle kick from a sriracha-laced glaze and crushed red pepper-spiked filling gave these peppers a dose of flavor. Shredded raw cauliflower takes the place of rice and cheese, while sneaking in extra nutrients. Nobody would ever guess that cauliflower is inside!

RECIPE

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Spicy Stuffed Peppers

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and paleo-friendly.

Ingredients

  • 6 bell peppers (any color, I used half green and half red)
  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained (I like Muir Glen)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 cups cauliflower, shredded (see note below)
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire sauce*

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut tops off bell peppers, discarding membranes and seeds. Place peppers cut-side up in a 11″ x 7″ baking dish. Save tops for another use.
  3. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onions over medium heat until meat is cooked throughout and no longer pink, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes through shredded cauliflower, stirring until combined and most of liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute. Turn off heat.
  4. Fill prepared peppers with ground beef mixture.
  5. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, sriracha, and worcestershire. Spread tomato sauce mixture over the tops of the peppers, completely covering the beef filling.
  6. Bake uncovered, in a 350 degree oven, for 1 hour.

Serves 6.

Notes:

*Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce is gluten-free and was reformulated a few years ago to also be soy-free, but check label if soy is a concern to you, or simply omit.

I use 93% lean ground beef so there is little fat leftover in the skillet. If you find that you have a lot of grease after browning, feel free to drain it before adding the garlic and other ingredients.

How to Shred Cauliflower: Wash and cut cauliflower into small chunks. Attach the shredding disc and stem to your food processor. Drop cauliflower chunks into food processor shoot, pressing down with the tamper. Alternatively, you could also use a cheese grater held over a large bowl. I prefer the food processor because it shreds in perfect small pieces quick and easy. You want the cauliflower to look something like this.

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Gluten-Free Peppers

Step 3: Fill Prepared Peppers with Beef Mixture

Healthy Stuffed Bell Peppers

Step 4: Top with Sriracha-Tomato Sauce

My beautiful friend Dana inspired this recipe, when she recently mentioned that she wanted to make stuffed peppers. Her family has gluten, soy, and dairy restrictions, which is why I wanted to make something that fit that profile. Coupling that with recent concerns of arsenic in rice products, some are also limiting their consumption of rice, while others omit it for the Paleo diet. I decided that cauliflower was a good, healthy substitute to alleviate concerns from all of the above.

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Pressed Sweet Potato and Avocado Sandwich

Looking for new ways to enjoy two of my favorite foods – sweet potatoes and avocados – I came up with this simple sandwich combination for lunch.

Here is what you’ll need:

Sweet Potato Avocado Sandwich Ingredients

Whole wheat bread, red onion, avocado, sweet potato, baby spinach, Laughing Cow cheese wedges, olive oil, salt and pepper.

First, slice the potato and onion into roughly 1/4″ slices and roast in the oven (with olive oil, salt and pepper) until tender.

Sweet Potato Avocado Sandwich Sliced Potato and Onion

Here are the roasted taters and onions:

Sweet Potato Avocado Sandwich Roasted Potato and Onion

Yummy. Now you’ll assemble your sandwich with the rest of the ingredients as beautifully illustrated here.

Sweet Potato Avocado Sandwich Assembly

Cook sandwiches in a large skillet with cooking spray as you would a grilled cheese sandwich, until the bread is lightly toasted and the inside is warm. I like to smoosh the sandwich as flat as I can with the back of my spatula, to ensure that everything holds together and is warm throughout.

Sweet Potato Avocado Sandwich

Now you are ready to eat! We enjoyed our sandwiches with a side of sliced apples.

Sweet Potato Avocado Sandwich Closeup

I loved how beautiful the orange and green colors were, just like the orange and green in my Avocado-Carrot Salad from earlier this week.

This hit the spot and was the perfect fuel for a 4-mile afternoon trail run/walk.

RECIPE

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Pressed Sweet Potato & Avocado Sandwich

A colorful easy-to-make vegetarian sandwich for all the sweet potato and avocado lovers out there.

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 2 light Laughing Cow cheese wedges, any flavor
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Toss sweet potato and onion with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Spread potatoes and onion in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning half-way through until the sweet potato is tender when pierced with a fork. Set aside to cool.
  4. Spread 2 slices of bread, each with a cheese wedge. Top with spinach, onion, potato and avocado. Place the remaining bread slices on top.
  5. Place a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
  6. Carefully add both sandwiches to the skillet and press with the back of the spatula to compress the sandwich together. (Alternatively, if you own a panini press, you can use that to “grill” your sandwich.) Once the bottom is lightly toasted, flip and press again.

Serves 2.

Tip: I used Laughing Cow’s Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle flavor, but you can use any of their savory light cheese spreads.

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Laughing Cow light cheese wedges are only 35 calories and they are so creamy that they spread nicely on sandwiches like the one above. After making this sandwich, my imagination ran wild with alternate sweet potato combinations, so expect to see more sandwich creations like this in the future.

Have you ever had a potato sandwich? What is your favorite combination?

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Avocado-Carrot Salad

The other day while cleaning out the fridge, I came up with a tasty and colorful side dish to go with the Clean Eating Sirloin Beef Wraps that I was making. I love simple salads with only a few ingredients and minimal prep time, and this fits the bill. It’s also raw, vegan, gluten-free and modern paleo friendly!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Carrot and Avocado Salad Ingredients

Combine these 5 simple ingredients and the result is this amazing green and orange goodness:

Avocado-Carrot Salad

The more you stir it, the more the creaminess of the avocado rubs off and coats the carrots.

RECIPE

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Avocado-Carrot Salad

A fresh, colorful salad that makes a great side dish for your favorite sandwich. Serve cold or room temp.

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 2 cups carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine carrots, avocado and cilantro in a medium bowl.
  2. Add apple cider vinegar and salt.
  3. Toss and serve!

Tip: I used pre-shredded carrots in the photo because that is what I had on hand, however I would strongly encourage shredding your own carrots because they taste fresher that way and improve the overall texture of this salad.

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Feel free to add a splash more of the vinegar, if you desire. I brought out my cutting board to chop the cilantro, but alternately you could just snip the cilantro over the bowl with kitchen shears.

You don’t even need the cutting board for the avocado, if you follow my easy “cut in shell” method!

How To Dice an Avocado The Easy Way

Simply cut around the avocado lengthwise to separate it into two halves. I usually do this in the palm of my hand (carefully!) or on top of a paper towel on the counter. Then, holding the avocado firmly in your hand, take a knife and cut a checker pattern into the avocado flesh.

Cutting Avocado in Shell

Give it a slight squeeze to help release the newly cut segments from the shell.

Finally, use a spoon to scoop out the avocado flesh.

Avocado Scoop From Shell

It will scoop right out into perfect little diced chunks, to which you can add directly to your recipe.

With this method you won’t get your cutting board (or fingers!) dirty with avocado since you never actually touch the avocado flesh, only the outer shell.

Avocados are truly a wonder food in my book. In addition to the potassium, fiber, vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid, avocados act as a nutrient booster when paired with certain foods like carrots! The avocado helps to better absorb the fat-soluble vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene) found in carrots. That’s right, a fat-soluble vitamin means that it dissolves in fat, so eating a healthy fat (think avocado, nuts or olive oil) in your meal with foods like carrots, leads to better vitamin absorption.

Try this dynamic orange and green duo in my Avocado-Carrot Salad! Paired with a lean protein, you’ll have a nutritious and healthy lunch that will energize you through the afternoon.

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