Tag Archives: breakfast

New Tricks

Scones!

Hi, Sweeties! This week has been so busy. I’m so glad the weekend is almost here! I’ve had basically the same thing for breakfast and lunch day after day, but I’m not complaining! Luckily, I’ve had a new breakfast up my sleeve (or… actually… in the freezer), and it has been getting me off to a good start in the mornings. What is your ideal breakfast for a busy day?

I’ve always loved the overly sugary and often frosted scones for sale at local coffee shops, but I’ve learned that they make a better dessert than meal. The hit of sugar gives me energy for a little while, but they aren’t very good when it comes to staying power. If I have one for breakfast, I’ll be hungry again in no time. I saw a scone recipe in a Prevention newsletter a few weeks ago that looked as if it might be a bit different. Whole wheat flour, a wealth of nuts, no sweetener aside from what is found in the protein rich vanilla yogurt, and a smattering of dried fruit makes for a delicious, but not too sweet, breakfast treat!!

Eight Meals in a Pan

The link to the original recipe can be found here.

I changed it a bit by using:

  • Regular whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour for a nuttier and chewier texture
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. of canola oil instead of 2 Tbsp.
  • Lemon zest in place of orange zest 
  • Dried cherries instead of dried cranberries (b/c that was what I had in the pantry)

I like to have one of these scones with a big pile of fruit and my morning coffee.

BrekkieThe scones are yummy, and, thanks to the healthy fats and protein, they keep me full until lunch time!! I will be making these again, and, undoubtedly, experimenting with variations. I had a few fresh ones, but I froze most of the batch. I had my first scone from the freezer this morning. I zapped it for about 20 seconds, and that was long enough to thaw it out and warm it up just a bit. Tasty– and quicker than my bowl of oats!

I’m so sad that the summer peaches are almost gone. If the farmer I spoke with at the farmer’s market last week was right, I may not have any more of these little gems until next season:

Peachy KeenI’ve been stocking up each Saturday, and then using the paper bag trick to ripen a few at a time. I was spoiled by the peaches from Swihart Orchard, near my hometown, as a kid, and I never find peaches at the grocery store that are worthy of my spoiled taste buds. The peaches from the farmer’s market have been amazing, and I’m going to miss them so much!  🙂

Speaking of the farmer’s market, I happened to catch this fuzzy little guy frolicking among the blooms on Saturday:

BuzzzzzzzzzzI love blogging because I always seem to have my camera when I need it! 🙂

In other news, I tried a “new to me” product this week, and I’m a big fan! I’m sure many of you already keep these in your freezer, but, for those of you just starting to explore the realm of frozen veggie burgers, I thought I’d tell you about these:

Spicy!I always keep a variety of soy and veggie burgers in my freezer. While I like most of them just fine, there are only a few that I really get very excited about. These spicy black bean burgers are on that list! I had them crumbled on top of my lunchtime salads this week with lettuce, tomatoes, fresh corn, reduced fat Mexican cheese blend, fat free Greek yogurt and salsa.

EnsaladaYUM! Seriously, I even love the way these burgers smell while they are cooking. The only problem is the fact that I’ve eaten them all. I need to buy more!!

The other fun thing I’ve had this week is the result of a little griddler experiment. I was cooking a pork tenderloin on the griddler, and I wondered what would happen if I tossed some thinly sliced potato on with the pork.

Griddler Me ThisI’ve never tried to grill potatoes, and I wasn’t sure what would happen. I love making fries in the oven, but sometimes I just hate the time it takes to heat the oven to temperature. I would also hate to heat the whole oven to cook one little potato. If this worked… oh my! I’d have a whole new quick method for making something fry like! My fingers were crossed!!!

I sprayed the thin potato slices on both sides with cooking spray, and then sprinkled them with a little bit of salt. The end result:

YES!! Griddler Fries!Yes!!! We have griddler fries!! They were crispy on the outside, and nicely cooked in the center. A few of the thinner pieces got super crispy and tasted like potato chips. I’m so happy I tried this, and I’ll be making more… and more… and more… of them in the future! They went well with my sauteed swiss chard and pork tenderloin. Don’t be fooled by the photo, however. I did decide to have some ketchup with my fries. What could be better?

What’s your favorite way to eat a potato?

P.S. Mara is having an insanely awesome and cheesy giveaway. You should definitely check it out!!

Christina is also having a celebratory giveaway (Congrats, Christina!!) and you should check it out too!!

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Filed under Baking, cooking, diet, Farmer's Market, Food, Greek Yogurt, Nuts, Recipes, Uncategorized, Weight Loss Success Story

What? No Nut Butter?

That’s right. I had a day without any peanut, cashew or almond butter. I didn’t do it on purpose. I swear! That doesn’t mean there were no nuts. I saw several while riding the metro. *Ba dump bump* Ha! Oh, Sweetie Pie. What can I say? It’s been a long day. At least it started out with a tasty bowl:

BananabowlerrifficThere’s a smushed up banana in the bowl along with some oat bran and some five grain cereal. I topped it with a bit of honey and some of these:
Daily CrunchI bought these awhile back, and they are yummy. The problem is, it is 150 calories for the few little bites you see in that bowl. Hmph. My solution? I run it through my nut chopper and put 1/2 or 1/3 of a serving on my morning bowl. You’ll see some later in this post in another bowl too. On their own, it takes about three bites, and they’re gone. Chopping them up makes them go a bit farther, and they taste really good mixed in with the other things!

I didn’t add protein powder to my bowl this morning, and I got hungry earlier than usual. I really do need a good amount of protein in the morning if I’m going to make it to lunch. I had a little yogurt and some Fiber One about two hours before lunch. I like the Yokids. It isn’t too sweet, the serving is small, and it’s kind of perfect for a small snack with a calcium punch at only 80 calories. Plus, I can pretend I’m a kid. 🙂

Yoooooo Kids!!I also broke out the piece of a Theo’s orange and dark chocolate bar that I had tucked into the lunch bag, and I sort of nibbled on it throughout the morning. 

ChockieDark chocolate is SO satisfying!

When lunchtime came around, I was very excited about my eats! I had a serving of the Springtime Market Potato Salad that I whipped up on Sunday, a hard boiled egg with some natural sea salt that a friend shared with me, and an Arnold’s sandwich thin topped with the rest of my container of Tribe chipotle hummus and some radishes and green onions from the market. My lunch was so fresh and springy. It made me happy. 🙂 

Lunchy LunchSpeaking of happy… I had this after lunch:

Cookie LoveAs you can see, I cut it in half. This little cookie is a prime example of why it’s important to read nutritional information carefully. The cookie is two servings, although, you might think it was only one if you weren’t reading closely. It’s kind of high in calories, so I planned on having half. It was incredibly tasty, so I decided to skip one of my planned snacks and have the whole thing. Some times you just need the whole cookie!!! 🙂 I like the whole graininess of Cookiehead’s cookies. This one also had various seeds and nuts with some very yummy chunks of chocolate. It was gooooood, and well worth the calorie splurge.

Since my lunch was a bit light on the protein, I made sure that a couple of my afternoon snacks were a bit higher in protein. This edamame gave me a little boost:

EdamameI followed it up with this pretty little apple. This would have been a usual place to insert peanut butter into the afternoon, but that was part of the cookie trade-off. This apple was crisp and sweet all on its own. Can you believe that it’s May already? Do you have anything special planned for the summer months? Vacation? Personal challenges? Lounging by the pool?

Pretty Little LadyAnother protein rich snack I had this afternoon was a bowl of Greek yogurt topped with some honey pomegranate jelly and some more crushed up Goji snacks. This combo was great! I had forgotten how much I love cashews. 

Greek yogurt!I still can’t believe I didn’t have any peanut butter on vanilla wafers, my apple, a newton crisp, a date, my finger… You get the point! My eats were a little different, and I like that! It’s so important to avoid the food rut for both my own eating enjoyment and for the purpose of including a lot of variety in my diet. Today was a good day for that!

When I got home, I made a huge salad with lettuce, radishes, tomatoes and green onions from Saturday’s farmer’s market trip. Look at the purple radishes. What fun!! I also topped it with some goat cheese, a chopped up chicken mushroom asiago sausage from Trader Joe’s, salt, pepper and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Yum!

Big SaladFor dessert, I had the bowl I’d been looking forward to all day. LaLoo’s Strawberry Darling goat’s milk ice cream. I really love this stuff. I put some chopped almonds on the top for a little crunch. Just look at all of the balsamic swirl in the bowl. Mmmm….

Strawberry Darlin'Finally, I finished off the day with a little bowlful of one of my favorite snack combinations: Galaxy Vanilla Almond Munch Granola and Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. This is a perfect snack for a nibbler like me!

Galactic SnacktasticI worked out with my trainer tonight and followed the strength training up with cardio for a total calorie blast of 600 calories. I’m making the most of my workout routine this week in anticipation of next week’s vacation. I’m hoping to try a few new exercise classes for fun on the ship, but I’ll have to see what my choices are after I get there. I’m kind of hoping for Zumba. I’ve heard great things about it, and I’ve wanted to give it a try. Do you zumba?

I had a productive day at work today, and I’ve started a list of things to pack. I’m just so ready to go! I haven’t really taken any time off since the Christmas holidays, and I’m really looking forward to it. I guess it’s kind of like my very own spring break. I don’t think you are ever to old for spring break!

So now I need to take my clean sheets out of the dryer, put them on the bed, and crawl under the covers. I hope you are having a great week. We are already up to Wednesday, and my week sort of seems to be flying by. Time does fly when you are having fun… or when you are just really busy!!

Ciao for now, bloggies and have a happy humpday!

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Filed under Asparagus, Bananas, cooking, diet, Farmer's Market, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Nuts, Salad, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

The Day Before Friday…

My Thursday thoughts often drift to the fact that it is the day before Friday. Not that I’m wishing my life away, but the weekend is almost here. As usual, I’m so ready!! I feel like this week has been a bit of a treadmill of tedium, and I’m ready to jump off and do something fun. I did try to break up the boredom a little bit with a different kind of breakfast this morning:

BrekkieI took a banana wheat bran scone out of the freezer, toasted it and then topped it with some PB2 and pomegranate honey jelly. I take back my negative opinion of these scones. Topped with some PB and jelly, this little scone was awesome! I had some blackberries on the side, and a bowl of my “ambrosia.” I had 1/2 a cup of Greek yogurt mixed with some canned mandarin oranges and topped with a little bit of sweetened coconut. I loved it just as much this week, as I did when I came up with it last week. Unlike last week, I didn’t eat the whole can of oranges today, so there’s more in my future! I also had a cup of coconut coffee mixed with skim milk and some sugar free hazelnut Torani. This breakfast was a fun and different start to the day.

Throughout the day, I snacked on this little baggie of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal. This is, of course, my favorite “snacking” cereal, and you could win a box in my 100th post giveaway. If you haven’t entered already, you have until midnight on Friday. Just go to this post to find out how to enter. I’m looking forward to announcing a winner on Saturday, and Sweetie Pie’s Prize Pack is all packed up and ready to go to its new home. It could be headed your way!

Baggie of SunshineAround 11:00, I had what has become my traditional morning snack this week:

Pink Lady LoveI had a little trouble removing the middle with my plastic child safe knife today, so there are some extra pieces. There was plenty of Bee’s Knees PB to go around!

When lunchtime rolled around, I had another of my turkey burgers from the other night on an Arnold’s thin with some dijon and brie. I scored this brie the other day at a party, Sarah style, and I decided it would taste good on today’s burger. Using a different cheese was an easy way to change up my leftovers! Plus, I’ve eaten all of my chipotle cheddar. 🙂 I also had hummus and some baby carrots. Is it just me, or are these baby carrots huge? Several of them were bigger than my thumb. They really are as big as they look in the photo, and it took some serious chomping to eat them. I kind of liked the crunch!

Lunchy LunchSpeaking of crunch, I had one of these after lunch:

Mmmmm.....I love taking a bite and letting the chocolate and the honeycomb sort of melt in my mouth. YUM! Still craving chocolate, I went and got a fudgy peanut butter vitatop out of the work freezer. I started eating it before I remembered to snap a picture. Oops!

Oopsie!Ok, now I need you to put your imagination cap on. You have one of those, right? It might be hanging next to your thinking cap? I had another work reception to attend this afternoon and it included a random afternoon glass of vino, a few nibbles of parmesan, an artichoke heart, and a few nibbles of marinated zucchini and peppers. I skipped the bruschetta, and other items, but had enough nibbles to satisfy my curiosity. That seemed reasonable, and balanced. Hooray!

After that, I went back to my office and had my afternoon bowl of oatmeal:

Afternoon OatsToday’s bowl is full of Kashi Heart to Heart Apple Cinnamon instant oatmeal. Unless I find some hiding in an unexpected place, I believe I’m out of pre-flavored oatmeal packages. CRISIS! Ok, not really. Maybe I’ll just have a different snack tomorrow, or maybe I’ll take some plain oatmeal and fix it up. Either way, I’m kind of happy that I’ve eaten all of my random little pouches of oatmeal. That means I can buy a new kind to try now! Since I have limited kitchen storage space in my apartment, I have to try to use things up before buying more as often as possible. That rule obviously does not apply to coffee from the ‘burg!

When I got home, I had something great planned for dinner. The weather was kind of dreary today, and I decided to abandon my plan completely and just have a bowl of Trader Joe’s turkey chili topped with a piece of cheese. It doesn’t get any easier than opening a can, and I really wanted the warmth and coziness of this bowl. I’m doing better at thinking about what I really want, and trying to have it. I can just make my new recipe another night. This bowl was completely satisfying, and I don’t think you can go wrong with melted cheese!

Cheesy Turkey ChiliI followed that up with a small salad. I had the rest of my farmer’s market lettuce mix topped with a little goat cheese, a few dried cherries, and some balsamic vinegar. It was a bright little spot of green. I’m definitely going to visit the lettuce lady again on Saturday!

Little SaladMy veggies were followed up with the rest of my little container of Vanilla Snowflake LaLoo’s goat’s milk ice cream topped with vanilla almonds and a few blackberries. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how much I love this ice cream. My previous posts have probably made that point. Ok. I’m going to tell you again anyway. It’s SO GOOD!!! 

Woo hoo, LaLoo!I got back from the gym later than usual. It was 10:15 by the time I got back to my apartment and started writing this post. While I’ve been typing, I’ve been munching on one of my favorite little sweet snacks:

Sweet Little SnackI have some Galaxy vanilla almond munch granola mixed with some Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips. This bowl keeps me nibbling for a nice long while, and feeds my chocolate tooth. It really is one of my faves. I’ve been eating other granolas lately, and I was so excited when I made the return to the Galaxy. I love it, and I especially dig all of the whole almonds in the mix!

Now, I’m going to make some chamomile tea and read a bit before I head to bed. My workout was really good tonight. I burned 706 calories and felt totally energized throughout the workout!! In fact, it left me a bit too energized for bedtime. 😦 Sometimes that happens. I’ll count some sheep, sip some tea, and hopefully nod off pretty soon. What helps you to unwind at the end of the day?

Have a great Friday, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway if you haven’t already!! Ciao for now, bloggie friends!

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Filed under cooking, diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

Wednesday Reruns and a Giveaway Reminder!

Hi!! I hope everyone had a nice day! There was no sunny lunch picnic in the cards for me today, but there was an umbrella. A chilly rain has been falling all day, and when it’s raining out, all I want to do is nap! How about you? Despite the weather, I had a pretty productive day. Thank goodness! I’m trying to get things wrapped up at work since I’m leaving for Alaska on the Monday after next. I’m hoping to tie up as many loose ends as I can before I go. I can’t wait to be on vacation!

I had several food reruns today, but I think that’s a good thing. I love a warm breakfast on a rainy day. I started out with a bowl that looks almost exactly like yesterday’s breakfast:

Another Bananabrannerriffic Bowl25 grams of oat bran

15 grams of wheat bran (the rest of my little bag… I need to buy some more from the bulk bin…)

10 grams of Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder

1 cup of water

1 1/2 Tbsp of sugar free Smucker’s syrup

1 banana

ginger 

cinnamon

more cinnamon

I decided to add some ginger and a ton of cinnamon to the bowl this morning, and it’s amazing what a difference it made. It really spiced things up! This bowl was quick and simple, and got me off to a warm start on this chilly morning. Along with my bowl of bran, I had a cup of coffee using some of the beans I bought at my favorite coffee place in Williamsburg the other weekend. As you can see, I stocked up on the beans!

Beans!Since I get them whole, rather than ground, the beans tend to stay fresh for awhile. That’s good. It will definitely take a while for me to make my way through five pounds. I do love the Coffeehouse! I had skim milk with my coconut coffee, and it was soooo yummy!

Just like yesterday, my breakfast wasn’t quite as hefty as it is some days (no PB today for one thing…), and I was ready for a pink lady with some Bee’s Knees PB around 11:00. I think I kind of like having a morning snack. I might start going a little lighter on my breakfast and factoring in an 11:00 nibble. It’s a thought, anyway. Do you eat a morning snack, or do depend on your breakfast to hold you until lunch?

Look Familiar??Speaking of lunch, I had a leftover turkey burger from the batch I made last night and some chipotle cheddar cheese on an Arnold’s thin. I think Arnold’s thins make awesome buns! I also had some Tribe chipotle hummus and a pile of orange pepper slices. Leftovers are your friend! This lunch was tasty, although my office smelled like a turkey burger for awhile. Who knew they were so fragrant?!

Lunchy LunchI also had a bowl of peach Chobani, some Fiber One for crunch, and another of my yummy little crunchie mini bars from the stash in my desk. I was full and happy!

Crunchie!When I got ready for a snack, I had another rerun from yesterday. I had the other half of my berry Fruit Newton Crisp pack with some more PB. I like this combo, and it is going to be a great way to use up the crisps. As I said, they are yummy, but they have no staying power.

Drool-worthy ReadingI decided to pose my snack on top of the book I’m currently reading. Yes, that is a post-it note from the middle of the pad. I was out of napkins and didn’t have time to go in search of one so I improvised! I finished reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao on Monday evening. After reading that, I decided I needed something a bit… lighter. I loved the movie, Chocolat, which featured one of my favorite actresses, Juliette Binoche. It also featured Johnny Depp. Yummy. Anyway, I thought I might like the book when I found it for a dollar at a used book sale not long ago. I started it yesterday, and I’m really enjoying it so far. If you like mouthwatering descriptions of chocolates and other candies, this is the book for you. I might have been drooling a bit while reading it on the metro today. 

My final snack of the day was another rerun:

Afternoon Oatmeal SnackI told you yesterday that I thought the afternoon oatmeal might be turning into a habit. I had another bowl today, and it held me over nicely until dinner. It also satisfied my afternoon sweet tooth while providing a bit of positive nutrition. I think that’s always a good balance to strike! I’m almost out of the pre-flavored pouches so this habit may get broken, whether I like it or not, if I don’t make a trip to the store. We’ll see what happens.

When I got home, I heated up another leftover turkey burger, and made a big salad:

Leftover SaladI topped some of my lettuce from the farmer’s market with a chopped up turkey burger, the rest of my chipotle cheddar, some scraps of gouda that were sitting in the fridge, a bit of Greek yogurt and a little bit of salsa. I also wanted a bit of baked potato so I microbaked one, chopped it into chunks and added half of it to the salad. It was a big potato, so I’ll have the other half tomorrow. This salad was tasty, and had lots of nice protein in it. It really hit the spot. Who says that leftovers have to be boring? I’m all about reinventing them whenever possible!

After that, I had a bowl of LaLoo’s vanilla snowflake topped with some chopped vanilla almonds and a few blackberries. I loved this combo, and I didn’t even miss my usual side of cake. Aren’t blackberries beautiful?

Lovely LaLoo'sAfter all of that, I had a little time for my food to digest before I went to kickboxing. My workout schedule has gotten a bit mixed up lately. For example, I won’t be working from home tomorrow, like I usually do, so tonight was my only opportunity for kickboxing this week. That’s ok. The Wednesday night class is a good one, and I definitely had a great workout! The only bad part is that my Thursday evening won’t be free since I can’t work out during lunch. 😦 I like to free up my evenings when possible, but those opportunities are rare during the week. You can usually find me in the gym at night, and that’s why my posts tend to be a bit on the late side. It actually kind of works out since I often get home from the gym around 9:15, and then I need some time to unwind from my workout. That’s the perfect time for me to write my evening post! 

Now, I’m feeling nicely “unwound”, and I need to get ready for bed. I’m probably going to have another little snack before I hit the sack, and then I suspect I’m going to sleep well. Kickboxing really is a good way to burn off excess energy, and that always helps me to sleep better. 

Before I go, I want to remind you again that you have until midnight on Friday evening to enter to win Sweetie Pie’s Prize Pack! I hope you will enter, and tell your friends to enter too. 🙂 I’m going to announce the winner on Saturday, and I can’t wait!! 

Have a great Thursday! The weekend is getting closer every second. Ciao for now, bloggies!! 🙂

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Filed under Bananas, Chocolate, diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Uncategorized, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Williamsburg

Banana Wheat Bran Scones and a New Favorite Eatery!

Good morning and happy Monday! I’m awake earlier than usual for some reason, so I decided to go ahead and tell you about my Sunday. My blogging seems to be running a bit behind my life this weekend, and maybe this will get me back on track! 

I had such an enjoyable Sunday! The temperature has gotten up around 90 here for the past few days, which came sort of out of nowhere. It’s as if the summertime switch has been flipped. I wasn’t hungry for a hot breakfast yesterday at all, so I just had a little bowl of strawberry frosted mini-wheats cereal. I also had a little bit of peanut butter on bread. I definitely feel less hungry when the weather warms up, but I was also trying to eat light since I had a birthday brunch to attend. 

I met up with my friends yesterday at a great neighborhood brunch spot, but there was an hour and a half wait for a table. Too hungry to wait that long, we went in search of an alternative. We decided to go to the Le Pain Quotidien that had just recently opened. I’m SO glad we did! I started off with a hibiscus tea sweetened with organic agave. Isn’t it pretty?

Hibiscus TeaI sat down, opened up my menu and nearly fell out of my chair. The menu was full of amazing choices and… it included the calorie counts for most of the foods!! Holy moly!! This was a dream come true right on my doorstep. The kinds of food available at LPQ are right up my alley. The boulangerie and patisserie selections alone could keep me entertained for a long time. For my lunch, I decided on the tartine with ricotta, mission figs, diced tomatoes, black pepper and organic acacia honey:

TartinesIt was so fresh and amazing! The ricotta was smooth and creamy and went so well with the figs and honey. In case you can’t tell, a tartine is kind of like an open faced sandwich, and mine was made on some amazing whole wheat bread. BLISS! I also got a massive bowl of fruit to go along with it:

FruitifullThis was the perfect amount of food for me, and it was all so very fresh and bright. Speaking of fresh and bright, check out my friend’s gazpacho!

GazpachoWhat a lovely lunch!! On the way out, I couldn’t resist picking up a jar of their praline spread and getting one of my favorites for the road:

Chocolate Croissant to GoI had my first chocolate croissant while I was studying abroad, and I’ve been a sucker for them ever since. This one did not disappoint! Happy Birthday to my friend… and happy new eatery to me. 🙂 

It was pretty late in the afternoon when I got back home after stopping to run a few errands on the way, and I spent some time putting my new plants into pots. I’ll take some photos of my little balcony garden soon so that you can see what I’ve been up to. It’s always nice to look out and see some living and growing things after a winter of staring at empty pots. 

When dinnertime rolled around, I decided to have some more of yesterday’s Buitoni creation along with my own little version of the salad I’d had at Art and Soul. 

Din DinYes, it really was that color! I topped some of the pretty lettuce I got at the farmer’s market with some goat cheese and almonds. That’s always a good start! Then, I got out my new magic bullet. Oh yeah. Magic bullet action! I put in a teaspoon of dijon mustard, a Tablespoon of fig infused balsamic vinegar and three blackberries with the tiniest whisper of salt and gave it a whir. Three little blackberries made for all of that color and gave the dressing an awesome texture and flavor. If only I’d had some watermelon pickles! I think this might be a good alternative to my usual mustard and vinegar dressing mixes.

After dinner, I had a few little snacks that I didn’t photograph including a So Delicious mini-neapolitan ice cream bar. It was a 90 calorie treat that really packed a lot of goodness into a small package. YUM! After my icy treat, I headed off to the Sunday session with my trainer (plus cardio… 572 calories crushed). Yay!!

When I got back to the apartment,  I decided to use up some more of the bananas out of the freezer and make a batch of scones with what I had on hand. In case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of using up what’s on hand, and that’s why I put so many little options in the recipe. I’ve learned that substitutions are fine in many cases, and there’s no reason to run to the store unless it’s really necessary!  By the way, my recipe is an adaptation of this one from Cooking Light with some of my usual tweaks.

Banana Wheat Bran SconesBanana Wheat Bran Scones

Ingredients:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup teff flour (or whole wheat flour)

1/2 cup wheat bran (or oat bran)

2 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into little pieces

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 cup mashed ripe (or thawed overripe!!) banana

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1/4 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt (or regular nonfat yogurt)

1 1/2 tsp. almond milk (or skim milk)

1 1/2 tsp. turbinado sugar (or regular granulated sugar)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Combine the bananas and the brown sugar in a medium sized bowl and allow to stand for five minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the first eight ingredients, AP flour through cinnamon, in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Add the flour mixture and the yogurt to the banana mixture, alternatively adding some of the flour and then some of the yogurt until the ingredients are completely incorporated, and stir until moistened. 

Using a rubber spatula “knead” the dough right in the bowl by pressing it down to really work in the butter pieces and then scraping the sides of the bowl. Continue to repeat that action for about 1 1/2 minutes. Alternatively, you could also turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for a minute or so, but the bowl method is less messy and works just fine.

Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Press into a 6″ circle using the back of the rubber spatula. Use a sharp knife to cut into but not through the circle of dough, dividing it into eight wedges. Brush with the almond milk and sprinkle the sugar on top.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. It should be browned and should spring back somewhat when pressed on the top. Cool on a wire rack, cut the wedges all the way through and enjoy!

This makes 8 scones at less than 130 calories each according to the recipe calculator I used. Not bad!

[Late breaking edit: Please see this post for a review of the scones. They didn’t turn out to be my favorite thing and, in the interest of full disclosure, I want to give you my thoughts in case you are considering whipping up a batch! If you are trying to find something to do with overripe bananas, you might check out this post for a chocolate banana snack cake recipe that I adore!!]

Photos from the process:

The Dry Team

Coarse Crumbs

Kneading in the Bowl

Before Baking

Oven FreshThese were super quick and easy, and I think you could certainly add all sorts of things to this recipe to suit your taste. I’m thinking that some chocolate chips would be a good addition next time. 🙂 Chocolate!

Now, I’ve got to get ready and get to work. I hope you all have a good Monday, and don’t forget to enter my 100th post giveaway!! By the way, a special welcome to you if you are checking out my blog for the first time! Make yourself at home!! 🙂 

Ciao for now, bloggies!

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Filed under Baking, Bananas, Bread, Chocolate, cooking, D.C., diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

Ambrosiabix?

Have you noticed how most of my posts seem to start with breakfast cookies or bowls of oat bran? Well, hold on to your hat! I had a different kind of day today, and it started with breakfast.

I replenished my stock of Bruce’s sweet potato pancake mix at the Fresh Market on Sunday, and the bag has been tempting me all week. This morning, I decided it was time. I had a couple of pancakes topped with a PB2 and sugar free maple syrup mixture and another little drizzle of syrup. Yum! Peanut butter on pancakes rocks!! On the side, I had a quick scrambled egg beater and the rest of my berries. There is a lot of red on my plate, and I loved every bite!

Blue Plate Breakfast In addition to eating some different things today, I also had a new and different gadget on my counter.

Magic in a BoxAfter reading about all of the green monster smoothies on various blogs, and after hearing people talk about their magic bullets, I checked the magic bullet out on line. An “As Seen On TV” product in my kitchen seemed like an unlikely addition, but it seems that they have taken care of a few of the things I really hate about making smoothies in the blender. 1.) I hate trying to get the last bits out of the bottom of the blender and into my glass. 2.) I hate that I only have one blender container that is often much larger than the smoothie. 3.) I hate how annoying it is to clean all of the blender’s various parts. Since you blend the smoothie in the glass you drink it out of, and since there are a bunch of different sized glasses in the box, it seemed like the perfect thing to me. I got it out of the box today, and I made this:

Green Monster... RAWR!My first green smoothie!! I mixed up 1/2 cup of skim milk, 1/2 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze, 50 grams of spinach, an ice cube and a packet of weight watchers chocolate smoothie mix. I bought a ton of ww smoothie mixes on-line, and I need to use them up and make more room in the pantry for Jay Robb! 🙂 Could I taste the spinach? Not at all. Amazing! The magic bullet worked like a charm, and the smoothie was really yummy. I’ll definitely be making more of these!! I’m just sad that my box didn’t include a dvd of the infomercial. It provided me with several minutes of quality entertainment when I watched it on-line! Hee hee. 

When lunchtime rolled around, I only had one thing on my mind: melted cheese. Instead of having my usual naan pizza, I decided to see if I could make a good pizza using an Arnold’s sandwich thin, Trader Joe’s bruschetta sauce, and some of my smoked mozzarella.

Lunchy LunchThe cheese was good (duh!), but the sandwich thin got soggy. 😦 The naan definitely makes a better crust, although it is also 80 more calories than the sandwich thin. I guess that’s what they call a trade-off. Even so, my hankering for a melty hunk of cheese was satisfied, and I had a bowl of Campbell’s Select Harvest Light Italian Style Vegetable Soup to go with it. When I want something filling, the answer is often soup!

What comes after lunch? Well, lunch dessert, of course! The Easter bunny AKA my friend, Cherie, tucked a very interesting bar of chocolate into the thoughtful Easter basket she gave me when I spent Easter at her home, and I was so excited to try it! 

Coconut Curry ConcoctionI generally think it’s hard to go wrong with Theo’s chocolate products, and I rarely meet a coconut product that I don’t like.  I LOVE coconut, and I love curry, but how would I like them together… and in chocolate…? I liked them. I liked them a lot. In fact, I’d say this was a pretty amazing bar! The bar has nice coconut bits throughout, and you can definitely taste the curry. Add chocolate to that combo, and wow. Thanks Easter bunny!! There are also some bits and pieces of vanilla wafer on the plate along with a little dark chocolate dreams PB. This was a tasty little plate for sure!

After I cleaned out the rest of the crumbs from the vanilla wafer jar, I needed to refill it. Sweetie Pie, you have a vanilla wafer jar? Well, sort of.

Papaw's Vanilla Wafer JarThis jar used to live in the kitchen at my grandparents’ house, and it has held many tasty things during its life. Sometimes it had homemade cookies in it, but often it was full of humble vanilla wafers. My papaw loved them, and he’d nibble on them when he just needed a bite of something sweet. I just think the jar looks “right” with vanilla wafers in it, and I’m happy to have it sitting on my cabinet at the ready if my sweet tooth starts to holler!

Here’s where my snacks take a turn that I thought was kind of funny. My fruit bowl has been emptied out this week, and I’m hoping to fill it up with things from Saturday’s farmer’s market. In the meantime, I decided to see what kind of fruit was in the pantry. I had a can of mandarin oranges in light syrup, and I decided to drain off the sticky syrup and mix the oranges into a bowl of Blue Ridge Dairy Greek yogurt.

Step OneMy plan was to mix up a big bowl, but not to eat it all at once. In fact, I planned to just have some on a Weetabix, which I did.

Ambrosiabix?While I was eating the Weetabix, I realized that this combination really reminded me of tasty ambrosia. Ambrosiabix?  The only thing missing was coconut. So…

Step TwoI had a little bowl about an hour later with some coconut on top. I was loving this combo!! When I got hungry again, the thought process went something like this:

“What do I want?”

“Hmm… there is about half a bowl of that ambrosia stuff left in the fridge.”

“But, you’ve already had that twice. Don’t you want something different?”

“If I add a couple of vanilla wafers, then it will be different.”

“Good point! You are so right! Let’s do it!”

Step ThreeYes, I do sometimes have conversations like that with myself. That’s normal, right? So, I ate the rest and ended with this:

Operation Empty The Bowl is CompleteI would really recommend this combination if you are looking for something light, bright and lovely. It was also a great way to make use of a pantry item. I love doing that! I have one more can of oranges that has been in my desk drawer at work for awhile now, and it will be on its way back home with me tomorrow so that I can make some more of my little ambrosia concoction! Maybe I won’t kid myself next time, and I’ll just sit down with the big bowl and a spoon. 

What’s your favorite thing to add to Greek yogurt? Apparently, mine is coconut and oranges. 🙂

There was nothing unusual about dinner. It was a rerun, but a delicious one! I had more of last night’s black bean tacos.

Din DinIf you happen to be on Weight Watchers and you’ve never tried Pepito’s corn tortillas, you might want to check them out. Two of them are only one point, and they are really good. My store keeps them in the refrigerator case. You can do so many things with them, and I almost always have some in the fridge.

I followed up my dinner with a piece of chocolate banana snack cake and some Strawberry Darling LaLoo’s goats milk ice cream. Yep, I had that for dessert last night too. It was awesome yesterday, it was awesome tonight, and I’m planning on finishing off the ice cream with another piece of cake tomorrow night. I’m sure it will be… awesome! I do love my cake and ice cream!! 🙂

Dessert!After dessert, I went to the gym to work out with my trainer and then to do some cardio. Tonight’s workout burned around 620 calories according to the heart rate monitor. We did some core exercises that we haven’t done in awhile, and I could really tell that my body had gotten out of the habit of doing them. I know that’s good, but it wasn’t the most pleasant thing. Ouch! I’ll be feeling it tomorrow for sure! After my workout, I tried my last new thing for the day. I had a cinnamon roll Larabar. This was one of those things that I always left on the shelf when I was counting points. I still think 200 calories is a little bit hefty for a bar, but I enjoyed it so I think it was well worth the “expense.”

LarabarOne more day of work to go and only a couple of more posts until I give you the scoop on my 100th post giveaway. Tomorrow, I’m planning to tell you how the scale has treated me with my switch from counting points to counting calories. I’m looking forward to all of it!

Now, as usual, I’m off to bed. Ciao for now, and I hope you have the best Friday ever!!

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Filed under Beans, Cake, Chocolate, diet, Fitness, Food, Greek Yogurt, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story

It Was About Time…

TGIF!!! I hope this finds everyone doing well and getting a good start to the weekend! Quitting time could not come soon enough today, especially after I saw a spot of sunshine at lunch. 🙂 I was in the middle of a serious downpour on my way into the office this morning, so I was so surprised that it was gorgeous at lunchtime. When you have a windowless office, the weather is often a surprise.

Aside from the rain, my day started off pretty well. Now that Jay Robb and I have become friends, I decided that it was time for me to give Fitnessista’s breakfast cookie a try. Last night, before heading off to bed, I mixed up this baby:

Breakfast Cookie

My breakfast cookie is made of 1/3 cup of oats, 1 ounce of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 15 grams of Jay Robb’s vanilla whey protein powder, 7 grams of chopped vanilla almonds, 1 Tbsp. of The Bee’s Knees peanut butter from PB&Co, and some leftover dried strawberries from my berry bar making adventure. I put it in the fridge to set up over night, and it was waiting for me when I got up this morning. 

I loved the chewiness. It really felt like a substantial breakfast, and yet tasted like a dessert. That’s just about perfect in my book! I topped it with a fresh berry that I sliced all fancy in honor of Friday with a little bit of dark chocolate dreams PB. I need my chocolate and strawberry fix in the morning! I will be having this again, and the breakfast cookie seems like a perfect hot weather breakfast option. Thanks, Fitnessista!!

Cookie Monster!

I decided to toss the lunch I’d packed in the freezer at work and enjoy lunch with a friend from work instead. That sort of spontaneous eating would not likely have happened a few weeks ago, but the change in my eating approach has given me such a new outlook and so much more freedom! By the way, I’m not going to report on my weight today, but I will say that things are still going well. I’m so much happier too!! 🙂

My friend suggested that we get lunch at Busboys and Poets, and I wasn’t hard to convince. I’ve looked through their window a number of times, but I’ve never gone inside. Have I been missing out! They have so many amazing options on the menu, including a number of great things for vegetarians and vegans. My lunch really hit the spot, and the company did too!

Lovely Little LunchI got the falafel wrap with a side of fruit. It was SO good! There was a delightfully nutty hummus in the wrap with the falafel and veggies, and I’m always happy with berries and fresh pineapple. There was also a fresh tasting drizzle in the little teacup that added a nice extra layer of flavor to the wrap. Lunch was really good, not heavy at all, and my plate had just the right amount of food. Perfect!

Busboys and Poets Vegan CheesecakeAs usual, I couldn’t resist checking out the desserts. My friend and I split a slice of vegan cheesecake at the end of the meal, and– oh my! It was so good. It kind of reminded me of frozen cake frosting (love it!!), and the raspberries were an awesome complement. It was really good, and I always love the opportunity to share a dessert! I have to highly recommend Busboys and Poets. I will definitely be going back again soon.

When I got hungry later in the day, I had the snack I’d packed this morning. I scraped the last of my dalmatian orange and fig spread from the jar this morning. 😦 It is on the shopping list. I really love it with my Greek yogurt and vanilla almonds. Have I mentioned that I love it?? It really is so good. I’m going to recycle yesterday’s photo so get ready:

Happy in a BowlWhen I got home, I decided to eat a couple of things from the freezer in honor of “Project Clean Out the Freezer.” I had frozen a tiny bit of 96/4 ground beef awhile ago, and I decided to finish off a bag of TJ’s frozen naan by using the beef on one of my little pizzas.

BeefySee, I do label things sometimes! Here’s my empty naan bag. I’d be worried that the bag is empty except… there’s more in the scary freezer!

Bag of EmptyI tried out some of the Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce that I won from the giveaway hosted by Lucky Tastebuds, and, mixed with the beef, it provided a barbecue pizza type experience. It was yummy! That sauce is great! There is also some roasted vegetable tapenade and smoked mozzarella on the top. As usual, I enjoyed the crunchy naan with my favorite TJ’s soup: Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato. 

Din DinIn continuing with the freezer theme, I had some more of my Edy’s slow churned light cookies and cream on top of a Triple Chocolate Chunk Vitatop. Essentially, I had cake and ice cream. Woo hoo! I don’t think you can go wrong with that combination.

Party in a BowlI really enjoyed reading the comments y’all left about the state of your freezers. I am glad to know that I have some kindred freezer spirits, and I’m also glad to know that it is possible to have a more organized freezer space. I think I’m shooting for something in the middle, but we will see. I’ve taken a few things out to thaw and I’m planning to turn them into something tomorrow. Stay tuned for that one! I did have a freezer avalanche event this morning, but things are already looking better. 

I hope your weekend is the best! The weather is supposed to be nice here, so I’m hoping to walk?/run?/bike? down to the tidal basin to see this year’s cherry blossom crop. If I do, you can be sure that there will be some new photos!

What are you up to this weekend?

I wanted to mention this giveaway before I go:

The Girl in the Little Black Dress is hosting a Quaker giveaway!! That robe looks too cozy!

Ciao, y’all!

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Filed under Cookies, D.C., diet, Food, Uncategorized, Washington, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story