Wednesday, February 6

Wiaw: New Combinations

I love finding new combinations of food! Mixing up my daily "Menu" always makes my day more fun! Do you agree? 
Get ready for another Wiaw!
Considering it is "Love Your Veggies Month" I probably could have squeezed a few more servings in my meals today. Oh well. Maybe next week!

Breakfast: 8:15
Pumpkin breakfast bowl! It has been my favorite breakfast lately. I talk about it more in this post. This one is topped with 1/2 C. Barbara's Brown Rice Crisps, 1 heaping Tbsp. of Golden Raisin, and 1 Tbsp. of chopped almonds. On the side are fresh berries. First great combination of the day: Brown Rice Crisps with white raisins and my pumpkin breakfast bowl. I had never used actual cereal to top my breakfast bowls before but the crunch was awesome! The raisins provided a nice chewy texture and subtle sweetness .

Lunch: 11:45
I had tofu and peas that had been cooked (in my Crock-Pot) in Trader Joe's Curry Simmer Sauce (I think that's what it's called). Second great combination! Very good! I highly recommend doing this. It is a easy meal that you can keep on hand. I went back for seconds, also.  Below is 1/3 of a banana topped with peanut butter, freeze dried banana, and a few chocolate chunks. I went back for the rest of the banana topped with more PB and freeze dried banana :) Third great combination! It is a wonderful to eat a PB banana with freeze dried banana. It provides some crunch!  I also had 1/2 an Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffin. 

Snack: 3:45
An orange! I forgot to take a picture of it before, but you guys get the gist :)

Dinner: 4:45
Super early dinner, right? I had quinoa over spinach topped with hummus. I went back for seconds on the spinach and hummus. This was the final great new combination of the day! I also had some TJ's Marcona Almonds with Rosemary. 

And with that, I wish you all a great Wednesday!

Friday, February 1

A Week in Review

This week was a good week. What is immediately coming to mind right now is the yoga class I started here at the University[<<I feel x a million better in just two classes!] and all the baking I did yesterday.

I thought I'd give you all a little summary of some of the moments that happened:

It snowed! 
The view outside my window sucks. Between the picture that showed a "better" view of outside and this picture, this picture was much more appealing to look at. You can still see the snow, but at least you get something a little prettier than a parking lot in the picture as well. [It's my roommate's bamboo plant :)]

Like I said, I did a bunch of baking yesterday. A couple hours of baking was exactly what I needed. 

I wanted to show you all my cooking space. (The oven is down the hall.) This is my cooking space here at school: my dresser! In total it gives me about 2.5x2.5 feet of space. (Not including the area where I push all my cosmetic/toiletries off to one side.) I'm always so proud of myself when I manage to make the space work. 

Today there were some people handing out hand warmers outside. (It was about 13 degrees Fahrenheit.) The hand warmers were much appreciated and such a thoughtful, creative little goodie to hand out! This simple act made me very happy :) I had it in my pocket the rest of the day.

Lastly, I roasted up some butternut squash. I have found the skin to be extremely edible. So, I left it on as I cut the bulbous part of the squash into rounds. It baked up quite nice if you ask me!

And with that, I wish you all an amazing weekend! Stay warm :)

Wednesday, January 30

WIAW: 24 Hour Bug

I'm joining the WIAW party again over at Jenn's!

Yesterday something came over me. I had horrible stomach and intestinal issues for the last part of the day. It was quite concerning, actually. Anyway, I woke up with similar feelings and decided to keep my meals a little toned down at first. By the end of the day, I felt fine! I don't know what it was, but after I ate lunch, the storm cleared and I had no more problems. Weird? Has anyone else had something like this? 

Ok, so here are my eats: 

Breakfast: 7:45 am
Like I said, I wasn't feeling great so I decided to keep it light and easily digestible  Oatmeal, banana and berries! Wowza! This ended up tasting so good! Simple combinations continue to surprise me! I put all of the fruit on the oatmeal and mixed it up. Oh and I added the smallest bit of Pumpkin Pie Spice to my oats. They were made with water as well. Maybe I should join the rest of the health bloggers out there and get back on the oatmeal train. (The bananas on campus have been really weird lately. They have a greenish hue and don't ever ripen to a yellow color. It's weird.)

Lunch: 10:15
Back from classes, I was pretty hungry. I wasn't sure what my stomach would handle but I decided to just go for it and eat something satisfying. A meal similar to breakfast sounded so good because I wanted something with a lot of water since for some reason I couldn't stomach drinking a gulp of water. 
I had a huge bowl of oatmeal, an even bigger bowl of berries (which by the way were to die for! Why are there such good berries here when it's winter?), a banana, and two huge spoonfuls of almond butter. I was worried the almond butter would be hard to digest (fats are more complicated to breakdown) but I decided I needed something more substantial then carbs and fruit (plus those extra few hundred calories). 

Dinner: 5:00
Yeah, it was quite a big gap from lunch to dinner. It was just one of those days. Luckily, I didn't get hungry until about 4:30. It was a miracle lunch- it healed my stomach/intestines and it held me over for nearly 7 hours! JEEZ!  So dinner was a lovely salad that contained spinach, corn, green beans, mushrooms, banana peppers, and lots of chickpeas. I also tried this black bean dip which was made of black beans and sweet potatoes! How interesting! I would have never thought of putting sweet potatoes in black bean dip. I also had a banana and a big ol' scoop of almond butter (unpictured). 

Kind of a boring and repetitive food day, but you gotta give your body what it wants! I think its funny that I had a banana with every meal :) Has anyone else ever done that?

Have an awesome Wednesday!

Tuesday, January 29

Crock-Pot Ratatouille

I debated whether to call this "Crock-Pot Ratatouille" or "Mediterranean Crock-Pot Vegetables". Technically, Ratatouille is a french baked vegetable dish that usually contains tomatoes, garlic, onion, zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, basil,and thyme.

Since I changed the ingredients up a bit, I hesitated to call it a version of the traditional French dish. But, to tell you the truth, "Crock-Pot Ratatouille" just sounded so much better to me!

Ok, so this was a dish I made to keep on hand during the week. Crock-Pot meals are awesome to keep in the fridge as a side, snack or main meal. [Hint: You will be seeing a lot more Crock-Pot meals around here ;)]

The flavors work really well together, you don't have to have/measure exact quantities, and prep is easy as 1-2-3!

Crock-Pot Ratatouille
Serves 4-6 (as a side)
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 1/2 hours on high
2 Medium Zucchini (Cut into 1/4" thick half moons)
1 Medium White Onion (Largely diced)
2 Cups of Halved Cherry Tomatoes
1 Red Bell Pepper (Cut into 1"x1" pieces)
1 Yellow Bell Pepper (Cut into 1"x1" pieces)
1/3 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives (Cut in half-lenghwise)
1 Tsp. Dried Thyme (heaping)
3/4 Tsp. Dried Garlic Powder*
Salt to taste

Layer onions, bell pepper, zucchini, tomatoes, olives, spices into the Crock-Pot (in that order). Turn on high and cook for 3 1/2 hours. Feel free to stir once everything starts to cook down. 

The natural juices from the vegetable creates a little bit of broth- there is no need to add water to help start the cooking.
*Feel free to use fresh garlic. I used dried because that is what I had on hand.