What I Ate Wednesday

Thanks Jenn for hosting What I Ate Wednesday! 

The alternate title to this post is: In the week of Valentines Day, consume lots of chocolate.

I was on a chocolate roll this week.

First, I finished my chocolate bread from last week.

I added cocoa powder to my oats almost every day (and sprinkles for Valentine’s Day)

chocooats

I made this little chocolate cake for a Valentines Day treat (with peanut butter, chocolate peanut butter and whipped cream). Which I ate while watching The Notebook. Totally cliche.

cake

It was so good, I decided to make another one the next day. Fun fact: I don’t have a microwave so these mug cakes are more than just 1 minute cakes.

cake2

Besides my love for chocolate, I have a deep love for anything graham cracker or s’mores, although I’m not the biggest marshmallow eater. The idea of a s’mores lava cake came to me the other night while I was sleeping and I HAD to make it that next day.

lava cake 2

oh yea.

lava cake

I baked it a little too long so the lava didn’t ooze as much as it should have but it was my first lava cake so I’m cutting myself some slack.

Luckily for you, after I make this again, tweak a few things and make sure it does in fact erupt properly (ha lame lava joke…) I will share the recipe. Even a bit overcooked, I ate the whole thing.

I also found a ginger Chocolove bar this week. I wish I didn’t because I keep eating it.

I’m thinking I should probably cut back a little on chocolate this week to compensate buttttt, dark chocolate is good for you, right?

What did you eat this week?

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What I Ate Wednesday

*TV Game Show Announcer Voice* Welcome to another edition of What I Ate Wednesday. Thanks to our host Jenn for once again providing a fun way to showcase some delicious food. Now onto this weeks feasts, I mean, eats.

In a random order and simple sentences, we have some of the plates I’ve enjoyed this week.

This week was filled with some of the same: Oatbran, obviously. I had pumpkin oatbran, blueberry oatbran, overnight oatbran and chocolate peanut butter among others. All delicious.

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I bought some ground turkey this week so the first thing I cooked up were some turkey burgers (served with sweet potato with crunchy peanut butter, broccoli and asparagus)

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one for now, some for the freezer for later.

Green smoothies made a comeback this week. I discovered that using a frozen banana and protein powder with water, almond milk and lots of ice makes the protein powder fluff up. Volume is my friend.

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I was CRAVING pancakes the other day so I whipped some up and man, were they delicious. Perfectly fluffy and warm. So good–topped with some Walden Farms Syrup and PB2 sauce. yum.

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The week of Halloween wouldn’t be complete without some treats. Don’t ask me why I needed a bowl of candy corn to make my house festive because now all I do is eat them.

I got a free froyo too! Pumpkin with graham cracker crumbs and dark chocolate chips. I almost died when the owner asked if he could take a picture for Facebook but obliged. Nothing beats free fro yo. Nothing.

Imagel

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Not being Paleo has brought me back to the good stuff–sandwiches. Today I enjoyed a chicken sandwich with some carrots and sweet potato wedges. Simple and perfect.

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Happy almost Halloween everyone! What did you enjoy this week?

Crazy Creamy Oat Bran

A few years ago, I would have never considered myself an oatmeal person. I wasn’t a fan at.all. My mom always makes them with water which makes them a little sticker and a bit flatter than making them with milk. Now that I like oats, this is okay, but I definitely still love a creamy texture and I’m all about volume. 

I recently discovered oat bran as a breakfast alternative to oatmeal and I am smitten. Not only is it a perfect breakfast because of the slow digesting carbs and a ton of fiber, it’s pretty versatile like oatmeal and is definitely fluffy.

If you haven’t noticed, I’m also a fan of throwing all my foods together in a bowl or on a plate. I don’t know why–I just love everything mixed. So, I’ve been making this breakfast every day for the last two weeks now. It incorporates the carbohydrate (oat bran) with the protein (eggs) and a vegetable (zucchini/pumpkin), a bit of fat (peanut butter) and some dairy (cottage cheese). All the layers of the food pyramid right there (essentially). 

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Crazy Creamy Oat Bran:

You’ll Need:

1 cup water
1/3 cup oat bran
1/3 of a small zucchini peeled and shredded
1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
2 egg whites 
Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice 
1 tbsp. cottage cheese 
1 tbsp. PB2/regular peanut butter/almond butter

To Make: 
Add water, sprinkle of cinnamon and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice to a small pot and boil over medium heat.

Add oat bran and stir until no clumps remain. Add in zucchini and pumpkin and stir to incorporate. 

Stir every few seconds while the mixture cooks.
When the whole thing begins to boil and there is no visible water, stir while pouring in the egg whites. Continue stirring while the egg tries to set and until there is no visible raw egg. 

Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often. 

Remove from heat and stir in cottage cheese. 

Pour into a bowl and top with peanut butter and extra cinnamon if desired. 

Enjoy! 

Pumpkin Spiced Granola

If someone created a food that totally does not match pumpkin, I would probably eat it anyway. I think I’ve gone through like, 5 cans in the past few weeks. I add pumpkin to everything: oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies. I also have a million pumpkin things in my house right now including but not limited to ice cream and biscotti. The only problem is that I CANNOT find pumpkin m&ms. Apparently it’s a Target thing only but the three Target’s I’ve been to haven’t had them. Can’t a girl get some pumpkin m&m’s around here?!

I bought some Trader Joes pumpkin granola the other day and while it’s good, I often prefer to snack on granola of my own making for a little less sugar, well, I guess just a little piece of mind that I made it.

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Granola is one of those things that is super simple but always seems like a pain to make, or at least for me it does. I think it’s the mixing. I also always add chocolate chips too early and they melt making it more chocolately than chippy. Nothin’ wrong with that though.

Pumpkin Spiced Granola
You’ll Need:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup almonds (I used whole because that’s what I had but slivered works too)
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger (I just shook a few shakes)
Pinch of salt
1 packet stevia
3.5 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp.+ 1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
Optional but suggested additions: dark chocolate chips and unsweetened coconut flakes

To Make:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.

Melt coconut oil over low heat and stir in honey and vanilla.
Pour over dry ingredients and mix using a rubber spatula.

Pour onto a baking sheet and spread into a thin layer.

Bake for 30 minutes, mixing every 10 so the edges do not get burned.

When browned, remove from oven and place a heavy pan on top of the granola *I used a pan with a cast iron skillet on top*
Once the granola is cool enough to touch, clump with your hands.

Let cool then mix in chocolate chips and coconut.

Enjoy with your choice of milk, on top of yogurt or oatmeal or straight from the jar!

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Dessert for Breakfast?

I’ve become an Instagram troll this week. Until I started following people I didn’t know personally (for recipes, etc.), I didn’t realize the power of seeing what posts your friends liked. By golly, it’s fantastic. I’ve found more recipes, a coconut butter company I placed an order from and some fitness Instagram accounts. The power of social media is definitely substantial.

While perusing through new accounts and photos, I found a simple recipe I had to try: Zeggs.  I had seen the idea of n’oatmeal before from a few Paleo blogs but zeggs was new. To be honest, the idea seemed a little weird to me at first. Then, a cold morning came and I was craving oatmeal. I decided to combine the fundamentals of both into a breakfast that feels too indulgent but is perfectly healthy and delicious. From now on, I think I’m going to call it Zorridge.

Zorridge

I know it looks like a bowl of mush but trust me when I tell you it tastes like chocolate pudding for breakfast.

Chocolate Zorridge

You’ll Need:

1/3 of a large zucchini, peeled and grated.
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons ground flax
2-3 eggs (today I did 2 whole eggs and 2 egg whites)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Less than 1/4 cup coconut milk (or almond milk, regular milk, etc.) *optional but suggested*
Shredded coconut *optional but suggested*
Chocolate chia seed pudding *optional but suggested-this would need to be prepared the night before*

Begin by preparing everything as the process moves quite fast.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the vanilla extract. Beat eggs with a fork until combined. Put zucchini, pumpkin, flax, cocoa powder and cinnamon in another bowl.

In a pot over medium heat, bring the water to a boil.

Add the bowl with the zucchini and stir to combine everything. While stirring, pour in the eggs and continue to mix.

Continue stirring for approximately 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture isn’t as wet and starts to boil. I sometimes put a lid on the pot for an extra minute to steam and ensure everything is cooked through. When the mix is puffy and no longer as wet, transfer to a bowl. If using optional ingredients, top with chia seed pudding, drizzle with milk and sprinkle with coconut.

Blueberry Pie Ice Cream

Ice cream

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

But really. One of the things I get most excited about since going Paleo is the occasional ice cream.

After making some chia seed pudding the other day, I had leftover coconut milk and decided to play around a little. Ice cream was born!

You Need:

3/4 can of coconut milk (I’m going to assume this is about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond flour
1 teaspoon almond butter
1/2 tsp. honey

To Make:

Put frozen blueberries in a pan over low heat. Cook until the blueberries begin to burst.

Meanwhile, mix coconut milk and vanilla in a freezer safe container. When the blueberries are warm and bubbly, stir into the coconut milk.

Cover the container and put into the freezer for 1 hour. Remove and mix, scraping the icy parts from the sides. Repeat every few hours.

When the ice cream has firmed up a bit, mix the almond flour, honey and almond butter in a separate bowl then sprinkle into the ice cream. Mix and place back into the freezer.

Freeze until the ice cream is your desired consistency then scoop into a bowl. If you aren’t stirring it every few hours, it might need to sit for a few minutes to soften up.

**I did not add any additional sweetener to my ice cream because I think the blueberries are sweet enough. You might experiment with adding either a banana or some honey/coconut sugar/your sweetener of choice into the mixture if you like things a little sweeter or don’t love the taste of coconut**

Choc(olate) Full of Fat (Chocolate That’s Good for You)

Today was my first day of grad school. Three classes down. Bam. So far so good. One of my professors reminds me of my grandfather which is fun. I think we’re going to get along well. He also makes fun of people which is very amusing.

After attending my classes and walking back in between to eat lunch, I realized living in a city is probably the best thing my legs have ever had happen to them. I walk so, so much. Miles a day. By the end of this year, they’re going to be st-ro-ng. 

I’m probably going to need to eat more to compensate? Really though, this is my thinking.

As I sat here munching on my own chocolate today, I got to thinking about fat.

As a person living in the United States, especially as a former overweight person, the number one thing I always read and heard was to watch fat intake to lose weight.

“Too much fat is bad,” said the magazines, TV, websites, books and every other source out there (including nutritionists). 

Well, it turns out that some fats can actually be good and those fats are better than good, they’re great. 

Coconut oil and anything coconut comes somewhere near the top but olive oil and other fats are healthy too. 

I read on a forum today that fats should make up about 60% of the calories you eat a day when following Paleo. I definitely didn’t expect that.

In celebration, I ate all the rest of the chocolate even though I didn’t really mean to.

Make your own chocolate and get some extra healthy fats in every day!

You Need:

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tablespoons 100% dark cocoa powder

1/8 to 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Optional but highly suggested:

Almond Butter

Coconut butter or manna

To Make:

Melt coconut oil on the stove over low heat. Stir in vanilla and cocoa powder.

When all cocoa is melted into the oil and combined, remove from heat and pour onto a wax lined pan. 

Swirl in coconut butter and almond butter if using.

Put in the freezer to harden. Break up into pieces when frozen and store in a container in the freezer.