Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Brussel Sprout and Sweet Potato Fritatta

I love eggs.  I love omelettes.

But I am terrible at making them. 

So a fritatta is my "cheat".  It's easy and requires no flipping.  Score!

Fritattas (and omelettes - if you can flip them!) are great 'use-ups'.  Left over veggies and proteins can easily be thrown in for a quick and easy meal.

My leftovers were sauteed brussel sprouts and roasted sweet potatoes.  The end result was a delicious dish with a nice crunch from the brussel sprouts and a creamy sweetness from the sweet potatoes. 

Brussel Sprout and Sweet Potato Fritatta 
(Serves 1)

1/2 cup brussel sprouts (chopped to your desired size)
1/4 cup roasted sweet potato
1 tsp. olive oil
1 egg
6 tbsp. egg whites
2 tbsp. shredded cheese of your choice (I used a part skim italian blend)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Be sure to use an oven safe skillet!

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes and saute to warm through. 

In a small bowl, beat together egg and egg whites, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat on veggies and add egg mixture.  Let it set up a bit, and then push the edges back with a spatula to let some of the uncooked egg over to the edges.  Repeat this process until it is almost cooked through, with just a bit of raw egg left on top.

Sprinkle with shredded cheese and transfer to oven.  Cook in the oven for about 9 minutes, or until eggs are set. 

Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Menu Plan - Week 3

This week is sort of a mish mash.  Basically I have leftovers and I want to use them up!

I do have a few new things on the plan though :)

Guiltless Chocolate Chip Waffles (Skinnytaste cookbook) - side note, they are actually pancakes in the book but by adding a bit of coconut oil I made them waffles :)
Egg and cheese sandwich on multigrain muffin with fresh berries

Turkey mason jar salads
Avocado chicken salad wrap (recipe coming soon!

Chicken in Artichoke Pan Sauce (Cooking Light)
Fig and Apple Panini (Cookin' Canuck) - I don't have Gruyere so subbing out the cheese!
Pumpkin soup

Sugar snap peas / hummus
Greek yogurt / pumpkin granola
Veggie sticks

What's on your menu?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fabulous Finds: Mrs. Thinsters' Cookie Thins

Let's face it.  I have a sweet tooth.  And while I would love to be one of those people who can happily always calm that sweet tooth with fruit, I can't.

I love fruit.  I snack on it a couple of times a day.

But sometimes you just need a cookie.

I stumbled upon Mrs. Thinsters' Cookie Thins in my local Stop and Shop, and was intrigued.  They come in a couple of different flavors - chocolate chip, double chocolate chip, and cake batter.  It was a tough decision but I went with the chocolate chip.

I also loved the label.  They are non-GMO, no corn syrup, and no artificial flavors, colors or perservatives.  I could read and pronounce the entire ingredient list, which is a plus in my book!

But how do they taste?

Really delicious!  They are crunchy, and then you get bites of creamy chocolate.

And the best part?  You get 5 cookie thins for 130 calories! (at least the chocolate chip, I think the double chocolate chip may have been 140.)

These with a cup of tea really hit the spot on a cold winter night when some comforting sweets were needed!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Meal Planning: What I'm Eating This Week!

So, after week 1 of meal planning, I'd say it was a rousing success.  Getting lunches together for work and having a plan for my late tutoring nights was a huge help!

So let's get to week 2!

I still have quite a few waffles in the freezer from last week's batch, so I'm planning on using those for breakfasts, along with an egg sandwich on alternating days (side note - I have to do a post on my breakfast sandwich maker because it is literally the best thing ever!)

I'm doing my Protein Packed Mason Jar salad twice this week, just changing it up a tad.  I ran out of quinoa and I'm in no mood to brave the grocery store the day before an ice storm, so I'm subbing an extra 1/4 cup of chickpeas for the quinoa.  Other lunches will be leftovers!

And as for those leftovers, my two recipes I'm trying out this week:

Italian Escarole and White Bean Soup from the Skinnytaste cookbook (I'm actually using baby kale instead of escarole)
Skinny Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo from Celebrations

I also stocked up on some berries, pineapple, and sugar snap peas for snacks, as well as some more greek yogurt and granola, and some Vermont 10 grain bread for mini banana / peanut butter paninis.  I also have some Vegan Chocolate Shakeology that I'm using as snacks!

What are you planning for this week?

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Side Dish: Chickpea and Veggie Paprika

Chalk this one up to trying to use leftovers and creativity!

A smoky, savory side dish that has a boost of protein and goes well with just about anything!

Side note:  You could pretty much use any veggies you have on hand.  I was using some leftover broccoli and cauliflower that I had steamed during my meal prep!

Chickpea and Veggie Paprika
(Serves 1)

1/2 cup of broccoli and cauliflower (precooked)
1/4 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. smoked sweet paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a frying pan.  Add in veggies and chickpeas and cook about five minutes on medium heat.  Add paprika, salt and pepper, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. 

Serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Protein Packed Mason Jar Salad

Confession.  I don't love salads.

I mean, I love salads at restaurants.  But of course, those aren't always the healthiest.

When I eat a salad, I want it to have a lot of different "stuff".  Not just lettuce and veggies. 

I have been watching YouTube videos for some healthy eating ideas and one that kept popping up was the salad in a mason jar.  The pluses include that they could be prepped 3-4 days in advance and stay fresh, easy grab and go, and you could really put anything them you want.

So in an effort to continue with the healthy start to the new year, I decided to give it a go.  I got 2 liter size mason jars at Michael's (those are the good size, it's a great size for a 'meal' salad), and I bought a nice big container at The Container Store to dump it into.  You can eat it right from the mason jar, however it's difficult to mix so you'd likely only get 1-2 ingredients at a time.

Then, I assembled the ingredients.  Side note - you can put your dressing right in the jar at the bottom (usually with the 'sturdiest' ingredients) but I had also bought tiny dressing containers at The Container Store so I decided to leave mine on the side.

I prepped 2 of these on Sunday and had them Monday and Wednesday.  The Wednesday one was fresh and delicious!

I started with about 2 oz. of chopped precooked roasted turkey breast from Trader Joe's.  Only turkey, salt and pepper so nice ingredient list, and precooked to save some time!

Then I threw in a 1/4 cup of rinsed and drained chickpeas.

After that, about a 1/2 cup of the steamed broccoli and cauliflower I had done for my meal prep.

Then a 1/4 cup of quinoa.

Then 1 chopped up hard boiled egg.

Then I basically stuffed it with baby arugula.  I really packed it in so that all of the ingredients would have a nice "bed" to fall out on.

And I topped it off with some sea salt pumpkin seeds for crunch!

I had mine with 1 tablespoon or Asian Sesame Ginger Dressing from Trader Joe's.

And here was the result!  I had this and some fresh pineapple and was totally satisfied!

I really love this concept and am looking forward to trying some different varieties!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Weekly Meal Prep - Week 1

In the same vein as the menu planning, I'm going to attempt to start regularly meal prepping on Sundays. 

Here's the thing, between work, working out, and tutoring, there are nights during the week when I roll into my apartment at about 7:00, and by that time am so hungry and in no mood to cook. Cue unhealthy choice here.

So I thought doing some hardcore meal prepping on Sunday might help.  I'm not prepping every meal, I plan to cook a couple of nights (the nights I'm not tutoring).  But I feel like this will also help me with snacks and lunches on the go, which I also sorely need.

I started about 10:15 Sunday morning and was finished at about noon.  Not terrible!

First up, though, is to be prepared.

Look, you are going to be working, so make it a pleasant experience!  Made myself a cup of coffee, lit my Twisted Peppermint candle, and turned on iTunes radio.

First up, a little breakfast prep. 

I decided to break in my waffle maker using this recipe for Banana Oat Waffles.  It made about 8, so I had one for breakfast, along with some sunflower butter and raspberries.  Then I cooked up the rest and let them cool, before storing them in freezer bags separated by wax paper.  That way during the week, I can always pop one out and heat it up in the oven while I'm getting ready for work!

Next, sweet potatoes! 

I plan to use these as a side dish during the week.  I had 2 sweet potatoes which I just roughly chopped up.  I preheated my oven to 425 and sprayed with coconut oil spray.  After spreading the potatoes out, I sprayed them lightly again with the coconut spray and dusted them lightly with salt and pepper.  I didn't add any extra seasoning because I may want to get creative later in the week.  This is basically a time saver, get them cooked through and then I can prepare them any number of ways during the week. 

I put them in the oven for about 13 minutes, flippped them, gave them another quick spray, and then put them back in the oven for about another 10 minutes.  They came out crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, so perfect!

And now it was time for the rice cooker!

First up, steaming veggies!

I did this first because you need the steamer basket.  Basically I just took a bag of broccoli and cauliflower I had picked up at Trader Joe's and steamed with about 3/4 cup of water for about 5 minutes.  Now it's perfect for a quick snack, side dish, or to throw in a salad!

Then, a batch of quinoa.

I used 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of organic chicken broth.  Again, perfect for side dishes or adding to salads during the upcoming week!

While the quinoa was cooking, I cut up some Persian cucumbers and started portioning them out to use as a snack with some hummus.

Then I got out my lettuce and washed and spun it out :)

I also rinsed and drained some chickpeas and cut up some roasted turkey breast because once everything cooled, it was salad in a jar time!

I ended up with a protein packed turkey salad - recipe will be up later in the week!

So all in all, it didn't take as much time as I thought and I feel really set for the week!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Crockpot Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal for One

I got this little beauty for Christmas!

It's a Lunch Crockpot - perfect for taking on the go and warming whatever you'd like to warm!  Best thing about it is the portion control, it's a single serve container!

In reading up on it, the instructions say that raw food, such as meats, shouldn't be cooked in it.  It's pretty much a warming device.

But, I figured, hey, oats are probably different.  For one, undercooked oats aren't going to hurt you, they are just going to taste not so great. 

So I figured I'd give some oatmeal a shot.  Again, this recipe is for single serve, however you could triple it and make it in a regular crockpot as well, and then just store the leftovers. 

What You Need

1/2 cup of oats
1 cup of milk of your choice (I used unsweetened almond coconut)
1/2 banana
1 tbsp. natural peanut butter

I combined all the ingredients in the single serve bowl, stirred well, and placed it in the crockpot.  I left it for an hour and when I removed the lid, hot and creamy oatmeal was waiting for me!

To top it off, I added a teaspoon of organic honey and a teaspoon of chia seeds.

Great for a cold winter weekend morning!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Weekly Meal Planning - Week 1

In an effort to eliminate some chaos (particularly on late tutoring nights), as well as kick off a healthier January, I'm going to be attempting to do some menu planning for the week.  So here is a look at the upcoming week for me!

Turkey and egg multigrain sandwich
Banana Oat Waffles (Love these because you can make the batches ahead and heat up as needed!)

Chicken salad in mason jar (recipe coming soon!)
Leftovers from dinners

Which are...

Garlicky Shrimp Stir Fry with Broccolini and Quinoa (from the Skinnytaste cookbook)
Baked Parmesan Chicken with Roasted Asparagus and Sweet Potatoes

Apple slices with 1 tbsp. natural peanut butter
Greek yogurt with 2 tbsp. pumpkin flax granola
Cucumbers with balsamic vinegar or hummus
Vegan Shakeology - Chocolate

Found this great menu planner online - love that it has the grocery list next to it!  Thanks to the Organizing Junkie!

Hitting up Trader Joe's tomorrow!  If anyone has meal prep tips, leave them down below!