What I Ate Wednesday: Trick Your Mind

I get bored easily. Or, at least when it comes to food I do. Sometimes I just don’t feel like a salad for lunch or a protein/veg/carb plate at dinner. This week, I haven’t even felt like eating oatmeal (gasp!). So, I’ve made it my mission these last few days to simply follow what my mind is telling me and try something new. If eating the same thing every single day gets tiring, trick your mind by just mixing it up! 

Exhibit A: Make What You Crave

IMG_3972I’ve been dreaming of sushi lately but haven’t gone.  Who said that chicken can’t be sushi? This immediately crushed my craving and was a fun way to eat the chicken I prepped this week. 

Exhibit B: Go For Variety

 

 

IMG_3959I couldn’t figure out exactly what I wanted for breakfast so I decided to have a bit of everything. Spinach and tomato omelette, peach, and a piece of low carb toast with half-peanut butter, half coconut oil spread.

Exhibit C: Same Ingredients, Different Presentation

IMG_3939Sometimes I eat a Greek yogurt bowl for breakfast or a snack with a bunch of mix-ins. Instead, I took all the ingredients, tweaked the ratios a little and made a giant pancake. This made me feel like I was eating something different and kind of extravagant even though it was the same items.

 

*Thanks to Jenn from Peas and Crayons for hosting the weekly linkup! 

Have you made anything different recently?

 

 

 

 

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Primal Coconut Flour Pancakes

I never used to consider myself a pancake person. For some reason, the whole pancake-thing never really did it for me. I was always left unsatisfied, always wanting more, not because I was still hungry, just not thrilled.

As I’ve become more of a “foodie,” the idea of different pancakes has intrigued me. You can do almost anything with them–sweet or savory, thick or thin. Big stacks or one big cake. While I never enjoyed drenching my plate in maple syrup, the idea of special sauces on top or in between each fluffy layer is something I think about when planning a new recipe.

These pancakes are simple, healthy and filling with only a few ingredients and minimal effort. If you follow a dairy-free diet, I would think that the yogurt could be replaced with applesauce or mashed banana–other types of pancakes on their own and definitely worth a try!

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Ingredients:

1.5 TBL plain Greek yogurt
2 TBL coconut flour
1 flax egg (1 TBL flax+2 TBL water, mix and let sit for 2 minutes)
1 egg
1/2 TBL chia seeds (optional)
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Blueberries

To Top:
Remainder of plain Greek yogurt container or 1/3 of a cup or so if using a larger tub
1/2 TBL peanut flour (or peanut butter/almond butter)
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Blueberries

To Prepare:

In a small bowl, make your flax egg and put aside. In another bowl, combine coconut flour, chia seeds, yogurt, egg, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix to combine using a fork. Add coconut milk a little at a time until the batter is thick but can easily be mixed and spooned onto a pan. Ensure all lumps are mixed out. Fold in blueberries and let sit for 2 minutes.

While waiting, mix together yogurt, vanilla and peanut flour in a bowl and put to the side.

Grease a skillet and place over medium heat. When up to temperature, check consistency of batter. If it has thickened, add a little more coconut milk to get it back to the original consistency. Spoon batter into the pan and spread evenly into a circle. It will not expand or rise.

Do not turn until the sides and top begin to cook, then flip. When pancake is cooked completely through, remove from pan. Spoon a dollop (about 1/2 a tablespoon) of peanut butter yogurt onto the top. Repeat with remainder of the batter.

Spoon all leftover yogurt over the top of the pancakes and sprinkle with additional berries.

 

What I Ate Wednesday

It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday with Jenn from Peas and Crayons

What I Ate Wednesday: Short Sentence Addition

This past weeks eats started with this. What is this? Homemade coffee Oreo ice cream. Yes. I went to work, was talking about how I planned to buy an ice cream maker and lo and behold, we had one in the back. I’ve made about 6 batches of ice cream so far including 2 batches of this coffee Oreo, chocolate coconut, blueberry brown sugar graham cracker, chocolate chip and a few failed attempts at almond milk ice cream.

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My newest obsession: Carrot Cake Oatmeal. It’s creamy, delicious and tastes like a carrot cake. I’ve had it for breakfast, lunch and dinner all on different days. I’m all about vegetables in my oatmeal normally so this is just a vitamin and nutrient win.

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The perfect pick-me-up. Find this chocolate bar–it is perfection.

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Not working consistently has left me plenty of time to bake. This Pumpkin Protein Cake was the first thing I attempted this week and it came out delicious. I’ll be sharing this recipe soon.

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I also made these protein brownies–not ready yet but not terrible.

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Cucumber rolls–not a baked good of course but harder than they look!

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and these sweet potato cupcakes of course.

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Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

I’m a fan of changing recipes up to make them a little healthier. I love spinach in my smoothies, exchanging tons of vegetable oil for another fat and cutting out refined sugar for something else sweet.

I’m sometimes a little wary of throwing vegetables in baked goods though in fear that there will be little strands of veggies and or taste less like a treat and more like a salad.

I’ve made zucchini bread which doesn’t taste like zucchini and I’ve heard of sweet potato bread but never actually tried it.I had a container of boiled sweet potato that needed to be eaten so I figured I would try to throw it in something delicious.

These cupcakes are chocolate-y, moist and not incredibly sweet but sweet enough. They’re also low in calories, carbohydrates and fat which makes it a lot easier to eat more than one.

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Chocolate Sweet Potato Cupcakes

1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2.5 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tablespoon instant coffee
6 packets monk fruit in the raw
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons non-fat plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup egg-whites
1/4 cup boiled sweet potato

Optional Frosting:
1/4 cup peanut flour
1/2 packet monk fruit in the raw
Drop of vanilla extract
3-4 Tablespoons water

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix.

Add in egg whites, yogurt, sweet potato, milk and mix well until no lumps remain and batter has a cupcake batter consistency.

Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and fill each liner half way with batter. The batter should make 12 cupcakes.

Bake for 8 minutes or until the top has set and a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove cupcakes from pan and place on a rack.

When cool, frost with your choice of frosting or a simple peanut butter frosting:
For the frosting, mix 1/4 cup peanut flour with a drop of vanilla extract and half a packet of monk fruit in the raw. Add water a tablespoon at a time until it develops a peanut butter consistency. Frost cupcakes.

 

Nutrition Facts for 12 unfrosted cupcakes:
45 calories/8 carbs/0 fat/3 protein

Spaghetti Squash Bake

I love when recipes are easy and tasty at the same time. Set-it and forget-it type meals also always work. They’re simple, quick to throw together and you can forget about them until the timer goes off.

Spaghetti squash called my name at the grocery store the other night when I went to pick up my beloved butternut so it went into the cart instead. I knew I didn’t just want a bowl of plain squash topped with sauce so I made a baked version instead which worked perfectly.

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(Sorry for a terrible picture. I dug in too quick the first time I ate this)

 

You’ll Need:

1 spaghetti squash

2-2.5 cups of tomato sauce (either homemade or jarred)

1/4 to a 1/3 lb. of ground beef or turkey

1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

To Make:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice the squash in half length wise and place inside-up on a baking sheet or in a baking dish. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the squash is tender.

While your squash is cooking, prepare the meat for the dish by browning up the ground beef in a skillet on the stove. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook until there is no pink. 

When the squash is done, remove from oven and lightly hold top using a towel or pot holder. Using a fork, pull the meat of the squash downwards until all strands have been pulled. Put squash in a baking dish. Do the same with the other half.

Pour sauce, almost all the cheese and meat over the squash and mix well. Top with remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the top begins to crisp a little and the cheese has melted.

Remove from oven, scoop into dishes and serve. This meal reheats well and is also good eaten cold.

 

What I Ate Wednesday

Welcome to another edition of What I Ate Wednesday, hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons.

I slacked this week on photos of food. I’m usually that person that takes 15 pictures of my food while it’s steaming hot, at all different angles, then sits down to a cold plate. Foodie sacrifices I guess.

I also tried something new this past week with a few days on intermittent fasting, just to kind of evaluate my hunger and try it out. I did it the easy way where I didn’t eat from 8 or 9PM to 12 or 1 in the afternoon. I surprisingly had a lot of energy and felt really good but I don’t think it’s something i’ll be doing often. I missed my breakfast oats too much and had to eat too much at all other times of the day to make up for breakfast.

The week began with this ice cream cone.

Ice Cream cone

My sister and I stopped at the UConn Dairy Bar on Sunday where I got this Banana Chocolate Chip Cone. If you live in Connecticut or are ever in the UConn vicinity, stop at the Dairy Bar. This was only my second time there (my first was a few weeks before). All the ice cream is made on the premises from the milk of UConn’s cows. It just tastes..fresh. So creamy and delicious.

Also creamy and delicious, the hot chocolate I’ve been downing during the two snow storms we’ve had this week.

hot chocolate(The sprinkles on top obviously make it better)

Besides these treats, I’ve had a lot of repeat offenders. This is my own “stock” photo of a burger, sweet potato and veggies. Exchange the sweet potato for some squash and it’s the same meal!

Burger and Fries

I also brought back the stir-fry this week after a brief hiatus. I’m never leaving it for so long again.

stirfry

Another highlight I forgot to document? My first taste of the new Cookies and Cream Quest Bar. I had to ask for them at my GNC store because they weren’t on the shelves and I am so glad I did! This is my new favorite flavor! If you like Quest Bars or need a new protein bar to try, get these!

That’s what I ate. What did you have?

What I Ate Wednesday

It’s been a while since I’ve done a What I Ate Wednesday so I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons again today to showcase my eats this week.

This week I started doing a lot of meal prep so I would be prepared when I’m hungry. I’m giving this method an A+. There’s always something good! The only bad thing is I don’t have a microwave so a lot of stuff gets eaten cold but I actually prefer a lot of things that way so it works out well most of the time.

Dinners:

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(Burger, sweet potato fries, veggies)

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(another day, the same meal)

chix2(Chicken, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower)

Lunches:

chix(Spinach, chicken, sweet potato rounds, butternut squash, jicama)

pita and soup(buffalo chicken deli meat and spinach in one and ham in the other, chicken soup and jicama)

pita(meatball and spinach in one, buffalo chicken in the other, jicama and cucumber)

Breakfasts:

I took a break from my standard oat bran this last week for some other things.

eggs2

(spinach omelet, berries and plain oat bran on the side)

eggs(egg, kale, zucchini and oatmeal on the side)