It’s late and I have to get on the road early in the morning to teach a big class. But since I already took all of the pictures, I thought I would try to get my “What I Ate Wednesday” up on the blog. I’ll try to make this one quick since that’s how my day went anyway
Breakfast was kind of light. My stomach can’t handle a heavy meal before teaching a paddle yoga class. So, before I left this morning, I blended up 3/4 cup light coconut milk, about 1 cup of fresh pineapple, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and some ice and water. Tasted exactly like a piña colada!!!!
I had to go straight to an appointment after teaching my class, so I packed myself a little snack – a zucchini blueberry spelt muffin, fresh organic strawberries, and a few almonds. The muffins were a combination of recipes and turned out awesome. I plan on making a huge batch of them to freeze for school lunches!!
I was starving when I finally got home, so I made an open-faced sandwich on toasted Ezekiel sprouted grain bread with homemade hummus (made last week), cucumbers, and tomatoes with kale chips and fresh fruit. An awesome and filling lunch!!!!
Jake and I snacked on bananas with a little peanut butter this afternoon.
Then we made a huge Cobb Salad for dinner with two kinds of lettuce, grilled chicken, nitrate-free bacon, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, avocado and a little crumbled blue cheese. We topped it off with some homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
The kids made their own little salads too! They had their bacon on the side along with some scrambled eggs
A very rare dessert – this is some of the leftover homemade key lime pie from Darren’s birthday yesterday. If I’m going to squeeze the juice out of 30 teeny tiny little key limes, you better believe that pie isn’t going to waste!!!! SO yummy and so worth it!!!!
Another full day re-cap of my meals for the day. I’m going to try to keep it brief because we are busy around here packing up and getting ready to head north for a weekend of skiing!
For breakfast, I have been trying to shake it up a little with my green smoothie ingredients. I have read that its a good idea to switch up your greens every once in awhile to vary your exposure to the naturally occurring toxins as well as the beneficial alkaloids. Diversity is always a good thing!
I am loving this combination:
Right after that, came my new breakfast obsession!!!!
Overnight Chia Pudding
Mix well and let soak overnight in a sealed container. In the morning, add toppings of your choice. This has diced mango, fresh blueberries, and chopped walnuts.
If you’ve gone out on a limb and bought some chia seeds to experiment, I strongly encourage you to give this recipe a try. When mixed with liquid, the seeds will absorb the liquid forming a gel-like consistency, which some describe as being similar to tapioca pudding. They have almost no flavor so they take on the flavor of whatever liquid they absorb.
Benefits of the Amazing Chia Seed
Chia seeds are so packed with nutrients, its no wonder that they are considered a SUPERFOOD!
While getting ready for lunch, I snacked on some gluten-free crackers and hummus.
Lunch was a salad with romaine, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, lightly toasted almonds, diced avocado. It was topped with a simple dressing of 1/2 balsamic vinegar and 1/2 flax oil and some fresh ground salt and pepper. I like to mix this really well to incorporate the avocado. This salad combo tastes great with mixed greens too!
Afternoon snack was 2 of the Mini Banana Chocolate Chip muffins that are a regular feature in this house now!!
Dinner was so easy and so good – I just wish the kids liked this a little more. Its not that its overly spicy. They did like the veggies. It may just take a few more exposures to this dish. And chopsticks always help make a dish more fun!
Coconut Curry Chicken with Red Pepper and Snap Peas
1 cup light coconut milk
1 T. red curry paste
2 tsp. fish sauce (don’t be scared by this!! You’ll find it in the Asian section of the supermarket)
1 T. brown sugar
1-2 chicken breasts, cut into thin bite size pieces
1 red pepper, chopped into medium-size pieces
1 1/2 cups snap peas
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
coconut oil for stir frying
Heat skillet to medium and add about 1 tsp of coconut oil (or other high heat oil such as grapeseed). Stir fry chicken for a few minutes until no longer pink. Remove from pan and set aside. Add a little more oil to the pan and stir fry red pepper and snap peas for a few minutes until tender crisp. Meanwhile, whisk together coconut milk, red curry paste, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Add minced garlic to pan and saute for 1 minute (garlic burns very easily). Then, add chicken back to pan and pour sauce in. Combine and let simmer for a few minutes. Serve over rice.
Enjoy the rest of your week! Thanks to technology, I have a few new recipes scheduled to post in the next couple of days while we’re out on the slopes
Glad to have you back for another What I Ate Wednesday!
Yesterday’s post felt so BLAH to me!!!! I think its a lot easier for me when I write during the day but usually its just so hard to find that time!
Speaking of time…..I just somehow did not seem to have enough of it today!! And I can tell I must be settling into this blogging thing because I really and truly did not plan out a single thing that I was going to eat today. The only thought that goes into my WIAW’s are to try to mix it up to show you different things (when in reality I am a total creature of habit!!) and also to make sure to snap a picture.
So the theme of today’s eats – on the fly!
Breakfast was totally on the fly. I had a million things I had to get done in the three hours Jake was at school. I am not usually very hungry early in the morning so I basically just made something super quick so that I wouldn’t get hungry while running errands.
This is a banana with raw almond butter (from my imported Trader Joe’s stash), unsweetened coconut flakes, and chia seeds. This breakfast apologizes for not being very photogenic. But I know I must be onto something when both of my kids had this as an afternoon snack today!
Lunch was a bit of a scramble to pull something together. I started with some of the Butternut Squash Apple Curry soup from Monday. I paired it up with a repeat from last week – the chickpea “mock tuna” salad on Ezekiel bread. This is exactly why I take the time to make up things like this ahead of time (soup, chickpea salad, oatmeal bars, etc). Lunch was thrown together in less than 10 minutes, including making Jake’s lunch!
For my afternoon snack, since I didn’t have anything planned out of course, I kind of went over what I’d eaten today to see what I felt like I was missing. Decided on some more fruits and veggies, specifically GREENS! So I threw together one of my green juice/smoothie concoctions. This one had a handful of kale, handful of romaine, celery, 1/3 cucumber, an apple, 1/2 banana, and a handful of frozen grapes. I was surprised at how much the grapes mixed up the usual flavor. I know this picture doesn’t appeal to many, but its just how I roll! I swear by juice and smoothies like this for awesome energy every day!!! To me, they are a total pick me up!!
Good thing I was re-fueled because my afternoon included a whole lot of this………..
Dinner, again, was completely on the fly. We had planned to make jumbalaya but then I realized someone had used the leftover andouille sausage from the gumbo on Superbowl (I’ll give him some credit for using it very creatively on a pizza ;)). So I did a quick pantry/fridge check and came up with a mexican-inspired soup, similar to a tortilla soup. This was made completely with what I had on hand and I did not follow a recipe. I have to say it turned out pretty good. I realized that this is something that I could keep the ingredients on hand at all times to easily add this to my rotation of “throw together” dinners.
Mexican Chicken and Black Bean Soup
1 onion, chopped (could be chopped and frozen)
1 red pepper, chopped (could be chopped and frozen)
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock (chicken stock would work too)
1 can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (Muir Glen are organic AND bpa-free!)
shredded chicken (we had about 1 1/2 pieces of leftover grilled chicken)
1 can black beans (pinto beans would work too)
1 cup frozen corn (canned would work too)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
Toppings: shredded cheese, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, avocado, cilantro – whatever you have!
In a large stock pot, saute the onion, pepper, jalapeno, and garlic in some olive oil over medium heat until softened. Add in crushed tomatoes, broth, shredded chicken, beans, corn, and seasonings and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish with crushed chips (if you have leftover crumbs you can store them in the freezer for this purpose!), cheese, avocado, and/or cilantro.
Another option that I may try out would be to omit the chicken and use two different types of beans and a grain like rice or quinoa.
Well, that wraps it up. Happy Valentine’s day tomorrow!
Without a doubt, carrot cake is my all time favorite dessert. Next up might be key lime pie. Oddly enough, chocolate desserts usually aren’t on my radar.
I’ve tried numerous recipes to make a lighter, healthier carrot cake but just haven’t quite nailed it yet. In the meantime, I still love the flavor combination, so when I saw this snack bar recipe over at Happy Healthy Mama, I knew I could tweak it just a bit to make it more like carrot cake.
Needless to say these have been a huge hit around here!! There is so much nutrition packed into these little squares!!! Fruits, vegetables, oats, healthy fats, and Omega 3 fatty acids all sweetened naturally for an awesome on-the-go snack or breakfast!!
The original recipe called for eggs as the binder. Feel free to make them this way if you prefer or if it is what you have on hand. I decided to experiment with swapping out the eggs for a chia “egg” which is a common substitute in vegan baking. Since the kids have been eating eggs a lot for breakfast, I felt like this was a good place to reduce the egg and swap in something with a little more nutritional oomph. Chia seeds are an excellent source of plant-based calcium, protein and Omega 3 fatty acids. Since I haven’t made the original, I can’t compare the texture between the two, but we’ve been happy with them this way.
I have made chia gel or chia “eggs” two different ways now. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 tablespoons of water – this will yield the equivalent of 1 egg. You can simply mix the whole chia seeds into a bowl of water or grind the seeds in a coffee grinder first and then mix with the water.
So lets make some oatmeal squares!!! Gather all of your ingredients – I love this recipe because I almost always have these ingredients on hand!
To make a chia egg, add 2 T. of ground chia seeds to a small bowl with 6 T. water. Mix with a fork and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Into a large bowl, add oats, shredded carrots, shredded apple, raisins, and spices.
Combine wet ingredients: melted coconut oil, honey, and vanilla. Add to bowl along with gelled chia “egg”.
Mix wet and dry ingredients and press into a greased 8 X 8 pan (I greased mine with a little coconut oil).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool in pan before cutting into squares. I have also found that I prefer to take these out of the pan to sit on a cooling rack for awhile. This seems to help the bottom “dry out” a little. I store them in a storage container in the fridge. They don’t last long around here
Carrot Cake Oatmeal Squares
Inspired by Happy Healthy Mama
2 T. chia seeds, ground in coffee grinder (or sub 2 regular eggs)
2 Cups Old-Fashioned Oats
2 small-medium sized carrots, grated (or 1 large carrot)
1 apple, grated
Scant 1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/3 Cup honey
1/3 Cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Extra coconut oil for pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 X 8 pan with coconut oil. Grind 2 T. chia seeds in a clean coffee grinder. Mix with 6 T. water in a small bowl and set aside to “gel”.
In a large bowl, combine oats, shredded carrots, shredded apples, raisins, and spices.
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, combine melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract.
Pour liquid ingredients and thickened chia “gel” into oat mixture and mix well. Press down into an 8 X 8 pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool in pan before slicing into squares. Remove from pan to finish cooling on a rack.
I thought it would be fun to show a typical day of what I eat. This was an interesting experience and I now have a whole new respect for food bloggers!! It took some extra time to stop and photograph everything and I had to remember every ingredient that I put into each meal. It also didn’t help that I was trying to take so many pictures on a cloudy, gray Michigan winter day! Although, the advantage to this is that it definitely kept my hand out of the box of Cheddar Bunnies on more than one occasion!
I would say this is a somewhat typical day of eating for me. However, I am on Operation “Avoid the Dreaded Flu” right now, so I am definitely putting in a little more effort than usual to eat clean and stick to as many raw fruits and veggies as possible (lets not even talk about how many times I wash my hands in a day!).
I started off the morning with a blender full of green juice, my absolute favorite way to start the day! Green juice is great first thing in the morning because your body has been healing, restoring, and detoxing itself all night long. So starting off with something as clean and nutrient packed as this keeps the process going a little longer. Into the blender went a handful of kale, a handful of romaine, 1 stalk of celery, 1/3 of a cucumber, 1/2 of an apple, a clementine, 1/2 of a banana, and a slice of fresh ginger. I added a couple of cups of water (and more if necessary) since I prefer it more like juice than a smoothie (although technically its considered a smoothie since all of the pulp and fiber remain). All of this green goodness is blended up in the Vitamix for about 30-40 seconds and served over ice. This concoction grosses Darren out every single time. But I am convinced he would like it if he stopped calling it “lawn clippings” and just tried it. You can ease into it by using a milder green like spinach and starting off with less greens overall. I’ve noticed that the celery adds a very distinct flavor that took some time to get used to. And the banana definitely makes it in my opinion.
Next up, is some chia pudding. I love love LOVE chia seeds!!!! These little guys are nutritional powerhouses packed with fiber, protein, minerals, Omega-3 (even more than flax seed!), and antioxidants. They also play an important role in cardiovascular health and controlling inflammation. Plus they are great plant-based sources of calcium and protein. My favorite way to make chia pudding is in the blender. I add 2 T. of chia seeds, 1/4 cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup of water, 1/2 of a banana, 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon to the blender and blend on medium speed for about 15 seconds. I make this the same time as my smoothie and leave it in the fridge until I’m ready to eat it – the chia seeds will absorb the liquid and thicken up so that its like yogurt or pudding. I like to top it with banana slices or other fresh fruit and some unsweetened coconut or chopped nuts. This is definitely one of those things that can take some getting used to! I need the toppings in there to give it the right texture so that its not so much like eating baby food. Mainly, I just love it for the blast of nutrients and energy it provides. It is awesome pre-workout fuel!
Lunch consisted of more immune-building foods: a romaine salad with lots of raw veggies and topped with cayenne tahini dressing alongside some miso garlic soup. This dressing recipe comes from my friend Kristen over at Kristen’s Raw. Since I am not rocking the raw lifestyle like she is, I just use the regular (or organic) EVOO. I also am not brave enough to add in the entire amount of cayenne. But this dressing is definitely worth a try!!!! It is lick-the-bowl-good and one of my all time favorites.
The miso soup is made by boiling 1 cup of organic vegetable broth and 1 cup of water. Remove it from the heat (so as not to destroy the beneficial microorganisms in the miso, which is considered a “live” food). Whisk in 1 T. of organic mellow white miso and then grate a clove of raw garlic into it. This soup is my secret weapon for all kinds of winter sicknesses but its definitely not for people who work in public during the day….or do anything around any other people during the day I’m showing it as a separate item because I am a food-blogging rookie and was so hungry that I ate the salad and then took this picture and ate the soup!!!
Since I lifted weights for my workout today, I wanted to get in a little extra protein so I went for a Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie for my afternoon snack. I’m sure most normal people probably stop eating pumpkin after November, but I’ll keep buying it until spring! This smoothie had 1 cup pure pumpkin puree, 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use a vegan, custom-made blend of hemp and pea protein from www.trueprotein.com), 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger, and few shakes of ground cloves or nutmeg if you have them (or you could just throw some pumpkin pie spice in there). Add a few ice cubes and blend it until its super smooth. Sometimes I throw in a spoonful of flax seeds or hemp seeds for an extra nutritional boost, but I skipped them today.
I ended up having to share! He is a total smoothie smuggler!
This was supposed to be their snack! A mixed berry smoothie with chia seeds and probiotics and a homemade oatmeal bar! I’m sure it goes without saying, but this is not all that my kids got to eat today! I just focused on photographing my food, not theirs, since they are at school most of the day. Since I shared my snack, he shared some of his oatmeal bar. Mmm, shared food….such is the life of a mom….
Dinner was simple and good, but another rookie blogging experience. A hungry family plus one extra dinner guest (my dad would have thought I was NUTS whipping out my camera at the table!) plus zero natural daylight equals no pictures of dinner! Thats OK. It was so basic that it was hardly worth photographing. It was simple grill chicken with some BBQ sauce, a baked sweet potato with a tiny bit of coconut oil and some steamed green beans.
Well, that is it for my first “What I Ate Wednesday”!