Tag Archives: bran

Note to Self…

This morning, hardly awake:

First thought – DKM. Dropkick Murphys. YES! That was it! go back to sleep.

Second thought – Bran muffins. I want some bran muffins. go back to sleep.

Third thought – I think I’ll sleep in today. I’m a little tired and it looks crappy out so I probably won’t be going anywhere anyway. shut eyes.

Fourth thought – The phone would ring immediately after I declare I’m sleeping in, wouldn’t it?

_________________

So, basically I must have been driving myself crazy in my sleep because I still hadn’t thought of what DKM was before I went to bed. There were a couple bloggers who guessed it [e-mail me to redeem your prizes], which just made me laugh and remember waking up with “Shipping Up to Boston” in my head moments earlier.

And no, it’s not just because of the Bruins that I love that song. I mean, just listen to it. First thing in the morning, preferably. And do some Irish jigs around your butcher block in the kitchen while preparing your breakfast.

In a leprechaun hat, preferably.

Not that I would know anything about any of that scenario.

I would know something about flaxy French toast, though. So I’ll talk about that, instead. I’ll leave it to your own imaginations as to whether I was tap dancing around my kitchen while making this, though.

 

Being that I looked out my window and saw this yet again:

Really wet, heavy snow. Read: Sloppy and slippery. House arrest once again.

I decided to make something a little more time consuming for breakfast. I have pancakes down to a science so I can make them quickly in the morning, which carries over to mornings when I have more time, too. Having nowhere to go, I decided to put a little more thought into breakfast this morning.

I’ve been wanting to make French toast for a while now, but wasn’t sure if the mini slices would be enough for keeping me full. Today, I knew I’d be home all day. Worse comes to worse, I eat an hour later, right?! Surprisingly enough, it was difficult for me to finish it all! Don’t worry, though – I took one for the team and did.

Yes, it really is possible to get that same French toast texture without eggs! Making it with flax sounds strange at first, I admit. I mean, I think I was legitimately grossed out when I first heard of it, so I don’t blame you if you are, too.

But I mean, really. Have I ever lied to you? -insert shifty-eyes here-

Buttering/Earth Balancing your pan is critical to making any sort of pancake or sandwich – and French toast is no exception. You don’t need a lot, but you can’t even compare the flavor to that and just using non-stick spray.

And please, no need to be “neat” about it. We’re not after pretty awards here, we all know the ugly food is the best.

Huh, maybe that’s why I’m always disappointed whenever I go out to eat…

If you’re patient and give it enough time – the outside still gets crispy while the insides are still moist and flavorful. I’m sorry if you hate the word moist. I do, too – but really, what else can I say? Damp? It’s not juicy not is it soggy.

The Mixture I used (approximately, anyways…about that measuring thing…)

  • 2 T. milled flaxseed
  • 1/4 c. + 2 T. coconut milk
  • 1/2 t. coffee extract (vanilla would work just fine, I just so happen to be the person who is all out of vanilla, yet has plenty of coffee, peppermint and coconut extracts. I would.)
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg

Mix all with a fork, allowing to sit a few minutes. Add more milk if necessary. Poke each piece of bread a few times before dipping each slice in and saturating. Transfer to a greased pan, allowing extra of the flax mixture to remain on the bread. Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, until crispy.

Garnish with grilled banana and figgy peanut butter and jelly sauce. And chia seeds and honey-roasted almonds if you’re feeling feisty.

Note to self: I miss you terribly. (speaking of “bring me back” songs…)

Er, wait, what I meant was – note to self: make French toast more often.

And about those bran muffins?

They were not just a groggy early-morning sentiment, my dears. They were happening.

I promise these were muffins for me, not Teddie. I kept thinking how much he would love them. Carrots, applesauce, molasses, cinnamon and sunflower seeds? The kid would be in heaven.

I used these almost-forgotten about pressed dates that Mo sent me way back when. I got a kick out of the “serving size: 1 package,” as I imagined myself just plopping down on the couch and nommin’ on the brick like so:

om-nom-nom

The recipe I used was Kelsey’s. And they are fantastic! It’s a good thing I didn’t actually read the recipe before I printed it off and trekked into my kitchen, though. It requires the use of a food processor, which is usually a big no-no for me. For some reason, I detest cleaning the processor in addition to regular baking dishes. Or in general. Same goes for garlic presses.

Life’s tough.

I realize this is probably old-news, but my new trick is using an ice-cream scoop. I used to just spoon it in, but then I’d have really ugly muffin tops. This leaves them nice and smooth!

And perfectly sized! Well actually my mini-muffins are perfectly sized since I usually just want a little somethin’ somethin’ when it comes to muffins, but that would have required me refilling the tray about ten times.

Which wasn’t happening.

I am very picky about my bran muffins – a lot of bran muffin recipes use more oat bran than wheat, and are too sweet for my liking. I like my bran muffins to be dense, moist and…well…wheaty! These are just the ticket.

Another added bonus: they didn’t require any bananas. I love bananas, and have a great branana muffin recipe – but I’m down to my last banana and you guys know what happens when I lose my bananas. I think I might hide the last one, just as an extra precaution. You know…in case someone else might want it, heaven forbid.

But if I haven’t convinced you to make bran muffins or flaxy French toast…maybe I can convince you to do this:

Toast up some good bread…smother one slice with cashew butter…smother the other with a bit o’ butter/earth balance…throw on some good dried apricots…drizzle a smidgen o’ maple syrup…and chow down. Heavenly.

(but what’s with me saying o’ instead of “of”? Am I really feeling that Irish today?)

And I’ll leave you with this scandalous picture:

I had sausages with dinner! I love sausages…

What’s something you openly admit to having high standards about? I am definitely a bread snob!

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Filed under baking, banana, bran, bread, breakfast, brunch, carrots, chia seeds, cooking, dates, dinner, food, french toast, healthy living, muffin, muffins, recipe, Uncategorized, vegan, vegetarian

Pajama Day

Today was a sweatpants kinda day. You know – one of those days that you stay in your pajamas because you have nothing else to wear.

Er – okay, so that was maybe the case for me…but you’re probably more responsible than I am.

I promise these weren't as burnt as they look. Even if it was only by a little bit.

At least, I don’t remember them being black like that. Maybe my memory is fading. I remember them being pretty darn good, but I am a little weird, I guess. FWIW, spreading oil on your iron doesn’t work as well as mixing oil into your batter.

For those asking what I have for my waffle iron - this is it. A Cuisinart. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. I think it was like, $20 at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

[clicky]But anyways. I tried to get the motivation to go to the barn and see and ride Teddie this morning. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I didn’t not want to see him – but I just was not looking forward to the actual commute of getting there, and then getting home afterwards. I’m feeling sick of always driving places. I had some other things on my mind to get done. The drive takes up more time than anything else. I didn’t want to leave my mom to do yardwork and horsework all by herself. It was windy. I wanted to go grocery shopping. My cat was running around wearing a fedora. I just looked at the forecast and thought it was going to snow this week, but they just have stupid rain droplets that resemble snowflakes.

and so on. I sort of just wanted Teddie to teleport to my backyard.

You know, wings and stuff...so he can teleport...

Needless to say, when my mom didn’t want to come along I sort of just decided to stay home today. I missed him…but at the same time, I didn’t really have any time to miss him.

Let me just say: I have been loving hardly touching my computer all day lately. A couple minutes in the morning and for a very short while in the afternoon near dinner…and other than that, it’s just if I need to look something up. It’s very refreshing.

So, what did I do instead of playing with the cutest and most bestest pony in the world and surfin the web?

  • went to get groceries (this isn’t as hypocritical as it sounds re: driving – I may live in the boondocks, but Price Chopper is a five minute drive at most)
  • went for a walkrun
  • helped my momma rake the front lawn
  • cleaned the front lawn
  • made branana muffins
  • made SuperCharge Me cookies
  • did laundry
  • cleaned out the horses
  • played with the horses
  • put the horses to bed

so it doesn’t look like all that much…but this morning was exhausting!

After returning from the store with gigantic bags of frozen peas and mixed vegetables that I purchased for just $1.99 due to overstock as well as finding some bars that I’d never seen before (I nearly squealed with excitement) I decided to go for a run. Slash walk. I laced up my sneaks and ate the other half of my banana + peanut butter, and off I went.

See, I’ve been reading so many blogs lately (ahem – especially these lovely ladies) that make me just wish I was a runner. I already know I’m not, but when I start thinking “ooh! a run!” I know I need to just go for one to remind myself why I don’t. So that’s what I did today. There is a car that has a couch sitting on top of it down the road from me that I keep wanting to photograph, so I decided to just run/walk there.

And you thought Vermont was boring.

There and back, it was about 3 miles. Not a lot, but enough to remind me why I don’t do it often. I guess it’s not fair to say I didn’t have fun – I found it enjoyable enough. (cough- especially the powerwalking parts-cough) But the fact that I had to deal with a 5+ pound d90 slung around my neck in a very awkward camera bag made it a little less fun.

And I’m still debating as to whether the chair-ontop-of-car was really worth it. And my iPod died. And I must have looked so pathetic that an old man stopped his car to ask if I was just going for a walk or if I needed a ride.

I told my mom that, and she told me the same man asked her the same thing last time she was out walking.

I don’t think he was a creeper, I think that just goes to show you how infrequently people are out walking around out here, baha.

Disclaimer: I kept running even after the discomfort of the camera and realization that walking was more fun for me because I wanted to get back to help my mom. Not just because other bloggers do it and I “want to be a runner.” I am perfectly okay with what I do do, and don’t focus on what I don’t like so much. (This is a great post on comparing yourself!)

Anyways. I got back and raked/shoveled/what-have-you for a couple hours before it was lunch time.

I declared today to be “clean out the fridge” day. I have a lot of little random bits in the fridge that need to get used before I make more meals for the week! For this sandwich, I sauteed baby spinach, garlic, red pepper and chickpeas in a bit of olive oil until it was wilted down. Mixed with some raspberry-fig sauce and sandwiched between two slices of whole wheat before panini-ing. And a side of sliced peach.

Naturally, I still wanted a lil’ somethin’-somethin’ afterwards, and based on the fact that we have bananas out the wazoo (both frozen and fresh) I decided banana soft serve was a wise choice.

I blended it with some cottage cheese that’s been hangin’ out for almost too long instead of greek yogurt. I’m not sure if that sounds gross – but I promise you’d never know. Topped with wheat germ and honey roasted peanuts. ’twas heavenly.

Why so many bananas? Well – I play my cards right and end up getting about 3 bunches for $1.38 every other week or so. They’re usually not even over-ripe by much, if at all! And more often than not, they’re the organic bananas because everyone buys the cheaper ones. Score.

Since I just did this last week and still have a lot in the freezer, I froze some of these, left some out, and baked with some. We still have a lot of bananas. I’m not complaining.

Even though I still have some of these Branana Muffins in the freezer, I decided to make more. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Right. I added a shredded carrot this time, and used raisins. I prefer the others better, but it could also be that I took more care in making those ones ๐Ÿ˜› OH! And I used date sugar! I forgot about that change until just now!

I also made another batch of SuperCharge Me cookies because my mom loves them. I thought maybe I’d bring some to work but I don’t think I’ll be allowed to. I wanted to make Chunks of Energy, too – but people were sleeping and I figured the food processor would go over like a lead balloon, so I just went out and played horse for a while.

Cleaning out the fridge continued for dinner. Based off of a Moosewood’s recipe for Ratatouille Rice, I had Ratatouille Bulghur.

  • Prepare bulghur as usual – when cooked, add one diced tomato. Stir in a spoonful of cottage cheese (finishing it! success!) and set aside.
  • Prepare veggies: Sautee the last 1/4 of a diced red pepper in olive oil.
  • Add some cubed zucchini, even though you know you don’t like it. It was there and it’ll be hidden enough that life will go on.
  • Cut off some mold on your eggplant and then cube the last of it. Add it in, along with a cubed portabella cap, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.
  • Beg your mom to use the last two portabellas, even though she only wants one.
  • Add in some chickpeas, almost finishing the container.
  • Cook the veg until eggplant is tender.
  • Fold in the bulghur.
  • Realize you’ve made way more food than you intended. Once your bowl is almost overflowing, pass some off to your mom, then realize the rest will have to be for another day.
  • Top with feta.

Enjoy!

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, dinner, foodblog, health, healthy living, lunch, recipe

Better Than Gramma’s Branana Muffins

Call me an old lady – but I love bran muffins. Seriously! And lets be honest – everyone should enjoy them every so often because made right, they’re packed with plenty of goodies. This recipe has plenty of:

  • Wheat Bran which is actually a probiotic food, with antibacterial fighting properties, and daily bran intake actually helps to reduce cholesterol and combat heart disease.
  • oats which help stabilize your blood sugar levels all the while helping you to reach your daily intakes for selenium, dietary fiber, manganese, and magnesium.
  • flax which are packed with omega-3 fatty acids – the good fat! Like bran, this is proven to be heart healthy!
  • bananas which are a great source of potassium and b6. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure, helping to reduce the risks of high blood pressure and stroke. b6 deficiencies are known to cause weakness, irritability, and insomnia!
  • peanut butter like bran helps combat high ldl (bad) cholesterol. it’s a good source for healthy fats and protein, too!

Lets get started, non?

I adapted this recipe to be a mish-mosh ofย Amanda’s recipes for bran muffins (whom she adapted from Tat) and her blissful banana bread. Her banana bread sure is blissful, and the bran recipe looks spectacular, too. How many times have you found a recipe that looks great – – until you see the recipe and discover it wants you to use bran flake cereal?! I wanted real wheat bran – the good stuff!!

Branana Bread

to yield 8 mini loaves/12 “regular” muffins

Firstly, combine:

  • 1 c. wheat bran (if you don’t love wheat bran, you could likely use oat bran. just don’t tell me because i’ll be disappointed.)
  • 1/2 c. almond milk
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 2 T. vanilla chobani

Set this aside.

In a separate, large bowl, combine:

  • 3/4 c. WW flour
  • 1/2 c. quick oats
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 t. cinnamon (heaping)
  • 1/2 t. nutmeg

And in still another bowl, combine:

  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1/3 c. creamy peanut butter (microwaved for a few seconds to thin)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 “flax egg” (1 T. milled flax, stirred with 3 T. water, and allowed to thicken for a couple of minutes)

Add the liquid mixture to the bran mixture, and stir to combine. Pour this into your dry mixture, and fold until just combined.

Fold in:

  • 1/4 c. chopped figs
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans

and then pour into muffin tins/mini loaf pans that have been lightly coated with non-stick spray.

Bake in a (preheated) 350* oven for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

These are wonderfully moist and branny.

I can only imagine the variations I will continue to concoct. For instance:

replace the bananas with canned pumpkin, and the figs with raisins

replace the bananas with applesauce and the figs with fresh chopped apples and raisins

How do you like your bran muffins?

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, health

Waffle With Me

Has everyone seen or heard the new Dunkin’ Donuts commercials advertising their waffle sandwich? I swear I hear it every ten minutes – but tt makes me laugh every time. Why? Because, well…I waffle on a daily basis. I even use the term waffle. So when I heard waffle all over the radio I felt a little cheated. Here is a days worth of waffles for you.

Fortunately, this mornings breakfast was almost waffle free due to this cool chica’s mention of carrot cake ice cream. I read this comment at 1 am during my nightly “I need to stop drinking so much water” moment – and immediately realized it’s been far too long since I’ve had carrot cake oats. You’d better believe I had difficulties falling asleep when I could hardly wait for morning. Just the thought made me have a nightly rendezvous with the kitchen involving nuked puffins. Luckily, morning finally came.

I love you, carrot cake oats. And this bowl was especially stellar, for what reason I am unsure. Possibly because this was the first time I’d had it with oat bran? Possibly. It was much fluffier than usual. Or maybe I just forgot how fluffy bananas make oats?

I suppose one of my breakfast waffles occurred just moments ago, trying to narrow down my breakfast photos. Apparently, I went a little overboard this morning. I was enamored.

In the Mix was oat bran, spelt flakes, barley & wheat bran, brewed coffee & almondmilk, ~1/4 sliced banana, vanilla, goji berries, pineapple, 1/2 carrot, grated, ground clove, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon

On the Top was chia-acai icing, flax, crystallized ginger, a chopped walnut or two, strawberry-pom jam, coconut butter, and 1/2 grated carrot sauteed with maple syrup, coconut, raisins, pineapple, cinnamon, and a splash of water.

The waffle appeared when it was time to chose coffee. I think my problem is that I give myself too many choices. So many nut butters, so many jams, so many veggies, so many fruits, so many breads. Hey, variety is the spice of life, right? As long as I’m not wasting anything, I’m content.

Rain Forest Nut eventually won over, and I waffled about what I wanted to make for my birthday dinner while enjoying a cup of that and my cake. I love waking up early.

Next waffle: hurr. I’ve been having major hair dilemmas. I really need to cut it. But I don’t like paying someone $20 to take half an inch off my hair. That can be spent on fun food finds or new bowls, you know.

the usual, except usually I pouf it more. It's growing old.

reunited with my hair straightener: still pouffed on top.

the new? or too susie home-maker?

After all this waffling, it was time to pack the lunch-age and head to class. First, I waffled as to what I wanted for my drive in snackage. The rest of the nanner had apparently been eaten by a Henry-monster, so banana was out of the question. English muffin, or nuked Puffins?

puffins-1. english muffin-0

If you haven’t done this yet, you should do it now. 1/2c. original puffins, 1/4 c. almondmilk, drizzle honey-apple butter, and cinnamon. Nuke for 30 seconds. Enjoy. Yum.

Next up? Yogi Moroccan Spice – for the words of wisdom – or Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride – for the pure bliss?

sugar cookie sleigh ride - with almondmilk, vanilla, and honey.

I have a rapidly growing honey obsession.

Driving in to class I encountered a major waffle. Did I really want to waste this beautiful morning by going to class? I won’t say which waffle I toasted, but I will say sometimes…ya just gotta appreciate the beauty around you.

And right on time, hunger came knocking, and I gladly answered. There was no waffling here:

Rite Aid parking lot.

Nature valley Nut Clusters – I make sure I ration these out, or I’ll just nom down the whole bag. So good. These were the peanut ones. I’m tempted to try making something similar myself.

I just realized I ate a lot in my car today.

And sesame rice crisps. Fueling before my second class & a quick Rite Aid pit-stop. This was a good snack – the clusters held me over quite nicely!

After my second class I participated in a grueling workout that involved a pretty drastic makeover. Are you ready for this?

Gertrude. Don't think she stayed that clean for more than ten minutes.

This messed up my hair, made me freeze, and made me more than ready for lunch.

There was slight waffling involved in lunch: I was homeless! My mom was MIA and I didn’t feel like eating by myself at a random location on campus. Everyone has classes when I don’t, and vice versa ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I finally decided on just going to the welcome center because I was going to need to buy some hot water or coffee, anyways. I wanted to go to the lake lookout – but didn’t think I’d have time to do that and get tea/coffee.

lunch was packed last night, as usual.

Turkey Meatball pita-panini w/ ranch, dijonnaise, sundried tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, spinach, and a pickle. Oh and parmesan, of course!

And I'll never turn down a naranja.

Deee-vine. Loved the homemade ranch-dijonnaise combo. And the pickle. Oh, dill pickles. You make sandwiches complete.

Did I want a bar, too?

I ended up passing – I was quite content – but decided to take Clif with me, for his whole grains and vitamins – to my Photo class. I definitely made everyone jealous. If you’ve had a Blueberry Z Bar before, you know how deliciously blueberry – y they smell!

I munched half in class, and half driving home so I didn’t eat the kitchen once I got there. There was much waffling about exposures, negatives, and chemicals while in photo – but I won’t bore you. There was also much stress/frustration. Everyone kept asking me all these questions about what to do, how to do it, what to mix, etc. I get really stressed out when I’m asked too many questions about stuff like that when I’m trying to do it, too. I’m trying to get stuff done, too – and I probably only know as much as you! I know that sounds awful, but it’s just part of me. I could never be a teacher. The worse part is – I’ll even get frustrated if it’s even people I know really well.

I had already had a general idea for dinner planned, but I waffled the entire way home as to specifics. I’ll reveal the final product, first.

Bulgur-Chickpea Casserole

Did I want chickpeas, turkey meatballs, or shrimp? Chickpeas. Did I want sweets-meets-savory by including an apple? No. But next time for sure! Did I want to make it all neat and layered only for it to be messed up upon serving, anyway? Sure.

Classic Jess fashion.

Did I want to use nutritional yeast, feta, or parmesan in the veggie layer? Nutritional yeast. Parm on Top!

This was good! Chickpeas were the right waffle. Next time I’d love to try it with some chopped apple and sweet potato!

Dessert was waffle free:

you betcha!

Told you so: new obsession/old obsession meet.

I guess you could say I tend to get stuck in food ruts. I’ve actually been flipping through Clean Eating mags at breakfast and re-discovering some great recipes that I saw and wanted to try – but didn’t make note of…and completely forgot! I’ve been feeling rather uncreative, so these are definitely helping and I’m brewing some good ideas. I still openly admit to finding one snack and latching on to it, however. Oh, well, I guess.

I hope everyone toasted lots of waffles today – decisions are good! Do you like to have decisions, or have things laid out for you? When you do have decisions – are you indecisive, or black and white?

Do you pack your own snacks when you know you’ll be out and about, or just hope you’ll find something?

And lastly – do you tend to get stuck in “food ruts” ever?

I hope everyone has a great night – just think, tomorrow’s friday already!

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Filed under all natural, almond milk, apple, banana, beans, breakfast, broccoli, bulghur, bulgur, carrot cake, casserole, chia, chia seeds, coconut, college, cooking, dinner, food blog, foodblog, health, health blog, health food, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy living, lunch, meatballs, nut butter, oatmeal, oats, panini, photography, pineapple, pita, recipe, snack, TVP, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies, vermont, whole grains

MIA

Is it really Wednesday night already? I feel like time has been flying by way too fast lately – does anyone else feel like time was slower when we were younger? Oh me, oh my.

My advance apologies for the disappointing pictures today. I can’t wait for natural light to be available on my work days! Almost, Lucy, Almost ๐Ÿ™‚

I had the other half of my mango from yesterday to put to good use in mango oats! I’m becoming obsessed with mangoes, and I’m not quite sure what took me so long! They are so good. And with pineapple, coconut, and coconut butter? yes, please.

In the mix: oat bran, TVP, spelt flakes, wheat bran, coffee & almondmilk, goji berries, mango, pineapple, chai spice blend, and vanilla extract.

On the top: chia-acai icing, coconut butter, strawberry-pom jam, flax, and mango and pineapple sauteed with coconut, macadamia nuts, and chai spice blend.

Love how oopy-goopy (yes, that is in the dictionary, for those wondering) the coconut butter gets!

For some reason though, I felt so rushed this morning! I think it’s because I slept right to my alarm. Usually I wake up shortly before, and either get up then, or wait for my alarm to go off. So it felt like I “slept in” even though I didn’t. This feeling kinda stuck with me throughout the day, for some reason. It was weird! No me gusta.

I packed my turkey meatball panini wrap last night, which reminded me why I like to panini them at home rather than just wrapping them. They’re so much easier to eat!

Yeah, I pack Kale chips for lunch in a tin pie plate. What of it?

That and, since we have a toaster oven, I pop it in there for a couple minutes and it comes right back to life. Perfecto! Lets take a look at the rest of my study in tupperware containers:

Greek yogurt with a bit of mango & chai spice blend; granola

Carrot for carrot sticks; wasa crispreads & sesame rice crackers

Drive in: cawfee; english muffin w/ blackberry honey creme & PB; mini nanner

The strange thing about today, however? My appetite was MIA! Not impressed. This girl likes to eat! I should have known when I wasn’t much wanting the banana. I always want a banana! So I had half and saved the rest for my morning yogurt. Speaking of which; notice how I switched up the morning snack? No orange – instead I wanted to try something a bit more filling. Maybe this was the reason for an MIA appetite? hmmmm. I was hungry for that at the normal time, but the rest of the day? Nothing!

Obviously I still ate lunch – which, I totally burnt the Kale chips again – and had a couple crackers and the carrots, but other than that I was largely disappointed with myself. Oh, well.

What do you do when you’re not craving or hungry for anything? Still eat, or just wait until you are? I did a little bit of both, I guess. I just wasn’t sure if the yogurt kept me that content, or I just wasn’t having a “munchy” day. I’m banking on the yogurt, though. I guess it’s a good thing!

I did take some salmon out of the freezer this morning, and had planned on making honey-balsamic glazed salmon, and it’s a good thing I had a plan, too! Otherwise I know I would have either been lazy, or waffled back and forth twenty times before deciding on a dinner. I did cut lose the plans to make some wild rice that I’ve yet to try to pair with it, however.

Turned out my mom & Henry had something with shrimp for dinner, and there were some leftover. They went quite nicely with it! ย Haven’t had good shrimp in a while, so they were a nice surprise ๐Ÿ™‚ I made some burnt broc and Kale to go with it – right in the same pan, worked perf. This is probably right up there with Blueberry Salmon in terms of favorite way to have salmon. So quick, simple, and flavorful! I wasn’t going to post the recipe for it, but since I’m boring tonight, I will, hah.

Honey-Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Ingredients, for one serving:

1 salmon filet

smoked sea salt & cracked black pepper

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

1/2 T. honey mustard

1/2 T. whole-grain dijon mustard

1/2-1 T. honey

dash crushed red pepper flakes (opt, to taste)

1/8 t. garlic powder

EVOO

Destructions:

Rinse salmon & pat dry; preheat skillet with drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of salmon. Place in pan, letting cook approximately 4-5 minutes each side, just to get some color.

Meanwhile, whisk together all remaining ingredients. When salmon has cooked on both sides (but not quite cooked through) pour glaze mixture over salmon. It will be liquidy. Flip salmon and cover, leaving over low heat until glaze thickens.

If desired, cook with some chopped broccoli, kale, and shrimp.

Yum!

I wish I had more exciting stuff to tell all of you loveys, but I’m out! Tomorrow? I think so ๐Ÿ™‚ Make sure you enter my giveaway, though – time is a-tickin’!

p.s. I’m having a malfunction replying to comments via e-mail because even though I may work with computers everyday, I’m still really dense when it comes to using them. Help?


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New Finds & Old Friends

Happy Tuesday!

Who wants to play a game of new finds and old friends?

Today I reintroduced myself to some of my old food obsessions, while finding new ones!

New Find? Artisana Coconut Butter and mango oats

Old Friend? oat bran

In the Mix: oat bran, rolled spelt flakes, wheat bran, coffee&almondmilk, 1/4 diced mango, goji berries, couple dices pineapple, chai spice blend, vanilla

On the Top: 1/4 diced mango sauteed with pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts, ground flax, chia-acai icing, strawberry-pom jam, and coconut butter

Can you even imagine how good coconut butter is?! I think I died and went to heaven twenty times today, and it all started with this bowl right here. Just look at how melty it gets!

Like with the cacao bliss, when I tasted it alone I was a little hesitant as to its’ slight grittiness. But once thoroughly heated it was amazing. I can;t even think of the words. This bowl was perfect for it, too.

Pretty sure it had an affect on mother nature, too – it was supposed to be snowy today, but instead it was warm and sunny! I’m not complaining…I’ll take snow, or warm and sunny. No rain or dreariness!

I play with my food.

Today was a school day, and one I could come home for lunchtime, at that. In-between class snack included an old friend, a Kashi cereal bar! I thought I’d finished these guys off, but found one in my backpack. I have random bars in my car, in my purse, in my coat pocket, and in my backpack. Ya never know! haha. I also had some butter snaps leftover from yesterday.

For my drive-in snack I had two old friends: a banana and a WW english muffin with PB, honey apple buttah, and granola. And a relatively new find: yogi tea! I wish all teas had the Yogi tags. That tag seriously made my morning!

I forgot how much I love english muffins. Yum.

I got out of my later class early because we had a test, so I stopped at the discount foods store for what – second time this week? I no longer have any shame for shopping there. They have perfectly legit food, and I have been dying to get my hands on Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride! As well as those S’mores bars – which is why I stopped there in the first place.

They have a good stock of the Celestial holiday teas – Sugar Plum, Candy Cane Lane, Gingerbread, and the mysterious Sugar Cookie. All good until June 2010 – anyone need me to hook ’em up?

First they come through with having canned pumpkin, next they come through with gingerbread spice tea and S’more Z Bars, and now Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride? Why do I bother going to the grocery store?! They even have a bunch of Kashi products – all, you guessed it, in date, just a little scuffed up! I don’t discriminate ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hustled home for my screaming stomach and nommed on an old friend – a carrot – while making another old friend:

Egg panini wraps will never grow old.

This one involved a vine-ripe tomato, though – and this made me realize how much better roma/plum tomatoes are. Seriously.

Fried egg, homemade ranch dressing, spinach, tomato, red onion, and freshly shredded parmesan.

With a relatively new friend: kale chips with smoked salt & pepper and some pineapple.

Deee-vine! Just like the weather today. I went for a nice walk to the bank after my last class, and another short one after lunch.

But not before having dessert with this new find!

almond butter & jam bran muffin with blackberry honey creme and sugar cookie sleigh ride. This was what, the twentieth time I died and went to heaven today? I drank a sugar cookie. I am not kidding you. I do have to say I still prefer their gingerbread spice, but I also prefer gingerbread over sugar cookies ๐Ÿ™‚

As for the blackberry honey creme? Oh. My. God. It’s rivaling the jams in my fridge, and we all know how I feel about my jams. I just had it again on an english muffin, and it is just…I don’t even know how to say other than perfect. Comprende?

I was then able to begin my nature tour.

fuzzy wuzzy!

seems to be a common theme.

shooting just to shoot.

...until Kaia got jealous and came to model.

I think she signs her contract tomorrow or someting...

Oh yeah! Food and stuff...

An old friend Barbara dropped by – I used to be a cereal (namely puffins) addict. I wouldn’t use it for bowls of cereal – but ontop of my oats, on top of yogurt, by the handful – but then it suddenly disappeared. I was thinking today how I couldn’t even remember the last time I just had a bowl of cereal…and so a star was born, thanks to my knack of stocking up on food items when they’re on sale. This puffins box had been sitting unopened for a good couple months, I think! Wanting cereal but not quite wanting cold, I decided to nuke this for thirty seconds, and I’m pretty sure magic happened in that microwave. Came out with parts mushy, parts crunchy, and all-around amazing. I put some honey apple butter and cinnamon a-top, as well.

It was actually kind of funny: I was thinking what else can I add? but then realized: it’s cereal. you don’t need to add anything. So for the first time in quite a while – I ate food [almost] as it was meant to be. And it was deerish. I think I’ve only had cinnamon toast crunch once in my childhood, but I think this is what it would taste like. Only this was “more better,” as they say.

I could not have been more grateful for my leftover strata tonight. We were kept up to the last minute, which meant getting home at 7:30, and I was starved! I packed an orange and still had a couple pretzels left – so I thought I would be fine since I munched throughout the day. But I was definitely ready for some dinner.

A carbon copy of last night! Just as good, if not better, than last night. Although – that’s the first time I’ve just microwaved some brocolli – usually I do my burnt broc method – and burnt broc is definitely the only way I ever want to eat broc. Okay, maybe it’s not that severe. But it’s just so good!

Anyways. Sorry for crushing so much into one speedy post – but it’s late and I really want to go relax! It’s just how my tuesdays go, I suppose.

Have you found any new friends, and rediscovered any old ones lately? Do you tend to go through food “phases” like me?!

I hope everyone had a great day! Have a good night ๐Ÿ™‚

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Almond Butter & Jam Bran Muffins

The other recipe in the running from my late-night recipe hunting? Peanut butter muffins. Except, using almond butter, of course! I still had a tiny bit left of the all-natural, unsalted kind that I wanted to use up. And after making those almond-butter cookies, I can’t get enough of almond-butter or peanut-butter baked goods! I was skeptical of ย my hunt, because as usual, I wanted it to be a nutritious good that could pass as a breakfast or a fulfilling snack. Cause I get a kick out of that. And hey, maybe I could find a recipe for a pb&j bran muffin? Not quite. But hey, since when don’t I adapt a recipe? I found one for whole-wheat peanut butter muffins, and decided to tweak it a bit.ย Here’s what I came up with! They are so. dang. addictive. Please – do no make mini-muffins. You will be popping them in your mouth every time you go near the kitchen. (I learned that lesson early-on in my baking career ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Once again, I’m going to type the recipe exactly as I made it – and make notes at the end.

Ingredients:

1/4 c. Spelt Flour

-3/4 c. Whole Wheat Flour

-3/4 c. Wheat Bran

-2 Tbs. milled golden flax

-1 Tbs. Baking Powder

-1/2 tsp. salt

-1/2 tsp. cinnamon

-1/3 c. sugar/evaporated cane juice/stevia

-1 1/4 c. almondmilk

-1/3 c. all-natural, unsalted, unsweetened almond butter

-1 Tbs. maple syrup/honey/agave

-1 egg white

-1 Tbs. butter or buttery spread, melted

-1 Tbs. pumpkin puree/applesauce

-1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

-jam, preserves, or jelly of choice

-additional almond butter or peanut butter and almond milk, for glaze

Destructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400*.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, including sugar.

3. In a separate, smaller mixing bowl, combine wet ingredients except for jam/jelly. It may take a bit to get the almond butter incorporated – just do the best you can. It will work out once you combine wet and dry.

4.…which you should do now.

5. Be careful not to overmix – stir just until combined. Spray 12 muffin cups well with non-stick spray (make sure you get them good!) and fill each cup half-way with the batter.

6. Line up your soldiers:

And place a dollop in the center top of the batter.

6. Top with the remaining batter – I actually got a perfect twelve medium sized muffins.

7. Bake for twenty minutes. Once baked, remove from muffin tin and allow to cool. Or just eat half of them warm – that’s a more logical thing to do, really.

Obviously, I’d already helped myself.

Serving Suggestion: Drizzle with a mixture of almond milk and/or greek yogurt and almond butter and additionalย jam or preserves.

What are my thoughts, and what would I do differently?

-Once again, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome based on all of my changes! I tend to get nervous when baking without any white/all-purpose flour just because I’m afraid they’ll come out dense and ugly, even if they taste fine. These came out quite light, and the peanut butter and bran flavor was quite pleasing. And they smelled like heaven while baking. Yes, heaven. (p.s. good batter here, ladies. and I’m not a batter fan! hey – just had to check the spice prportions!)

They do, however, have a mild-moderately strong bran flavor (which I love) but if you’re on the fence about bran, either cut back on the whet bran and use some oat bran, or cut back on the wheat bran and use more whole wheat flour.

-Because of the wheat bran and all-natural almond butter, they are also not super sweet – you could easily get away with using your normal, slightly sweetened peanut or almond butter. Made like this, they’re fine for me, but again, I don’t like my baked goods super sweet. That and they’re fine with a dollop of additional jam.

-I used maple syrup, but I think honey would be really good too – will use that next time I think ๐Ÿ™‚ Peanut butter, banana, and honey muffins, anyone? Oh, snap.

-Don’t be afraid to use a good amount of jam in the center – I just used a tiny bit, I was nervous it’d get all oozy and messy. I’ll use more next time, though, as this wasn’t an issue.

-One last thing? You could easily do without the spelt flour. After making the scones, I just had a tiny bit left and decided to use it up ๐Ÿ™‚

Based on These nutrition facts:

-110 calories, 6g total fat, 2.5mg cholesterol, 30mg sodium, 115 mg potassium, 12.5g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 4g protein (based without jam, depends on your ingredients and adjustments, too)

next time I think I’d add a nut-topping, maybe some chia seeds, more flax, or…?

just to amp it up a bit. Or try the whole peanut butter-banana-honey idea of course ๐Ÿ™‚

Sooo. I’m off for my lunch date! See you guys tonight ๐Ÿ™‚

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Filed under breakfast, cooking, foodblog, health, health food, healthy living, recipe