I’ve Been Cooking!

Hello, hello! Did everyone have a fabulous weekend? Mine was incredibly low-key which is always fine by me. We got a lot done around the house: deep cleaned, took down fall decorations and put up Christmas decorations :smile:, and spent the majority of the day on Sunday putting up Christmas lights. I listened to Christmas music this weekend too which made me very happy.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned how badly I wanted to get back into the groove of meal prep and cooking actual nice meals versus waiting until the last-minute and then throwing something completely random together. This past week, I got to work on that.

For lunch on Wednesday, I made myself an open-face egg and cheese sandwich (heavy on the mustard) which tasted absolutely perfect.

egg and cheese open face sandwich

On Thursday I made eggplant lasagna with spinach and ground beef.

eggplant lasagna

 

It was good, but not something I would make again. As much as I try to love eggplant, I just don’t.

 

eggplant lasagna

 

On Friday I made us buffalo chicken salad with romaine lettuce, red onion, feta cheese, buffalo chicken, and buttermilk ranch dressing. SOOOO good! I love this salad.

buffalo chicken salad

On Saturday I took a break from cooking, mostly because I wasn’t super hungry once dinner time rolled around because I spoiled my dinner with ice cream. Whoops. #yolo #saystheRD

On Sunday I made a batch of cauliflower gratin based off of this recipe: Cauliflower Gratin by Good Dinner Mom. I didn’t have regular milk so I subbed in almond milk and I only had mild cheddar not sharp. This turned out pretty well still. On the side I had some leftover chicken (from the freezer) on top of spinach. Easy peasy dinner.

cheesy cauliflower cheesy cauliflower

Later I snacked on some homemade air-popped popcorn while watching a couple of episodes of Breaking Bad with my guys! Later I grabbed some raisins and some other snacks too.

popcorn

So there’s the proof. I’ve been cooking! I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Who’s excited for Thanksgiving?! Only three days to go!

Question of the day: Have you been cooking up anything tasty lately? Please share!

A Typical Day of Meals & Snacks From My Childhood

Happy Thursday to you all. I hope everyone is having a good week. I’m still fighting to feel well today. I got nearly 9 hours of sleep last night so that will hopefully help me heal faster. Sleep is so powerful.

Yesterday I went into work, fought through the morning but then felt so miserable that I ended up going home in the afternoon. I planted myself on the couch and that is where I stayed all afternoon and evening minus getting up to get food and drink.

I hesitate to even share my eats yesterday because they are not the most appealing or exciting, but I’ll do it anyway.

Breakfast was an old favorite of Parkers Farm peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, and a light drizzle of honey.

Lunch was seasoned bone broth with chicken and carrots, applesauce, and raw carrots.

bone broth

Snacks: Cashews, raisins, and almonds…

nuts and fruit

And dates with peanut butter which is my latest obsession…

dates and pb

I spent the afternoon trying to nap which was turned out to be an unsuccessful attempt  (why is it so hard for me to nap?!), watching Food Network, reading, and catching up on blogs. Pretty much I sat on my rear all afternoon and rested.

When dinner rolled around I was very hungry, but had no clue what I wanted. Eventually, with the help of Dana, he made up a plate of roasted broccoli with parmesan with a piece of cooked turkey deli meat with an egg on top. It was very random but it ended up being a nummy combo.

roasted broccoli with turkey and egg

I spent the rest of the evening watching an episode of Glee that I had recorded, Whitney, and Modern Family. I love those shows oh so much.

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Switching gears now…

After reading a post from the blog A Dash of Meg, who wrote a post about what a typical day of meals and snacks looked like for her growing up, I thought it would be fun to walk down memory lane as well. Shall we?

A Typical Day of Meals & Snacks From My Childhood

Breakfast

In the morning I would stumble down to the kitchen and pour myself a bowl of cereal with  milk or make a warm bowl of Cream of Wheat. Mom always had the cupboard stocked full of good cereals, but some of my favorites were Cinnamon Life and Honey Nut Cheerios. Num! Many times I would sit next to my mom while she read the paper and crunch away at my bowl.

honey nut cheerios

A bowl of cereal now with no additional protein on the side (besides the small amount of milk on the cereal) definitely wouldn’t tide me over very long any more these days, but cereal does make a great snack or you could pair a bowl of cereal and banana slices with a protein rich egg on the side and call it a more well-rounded meal.

I don’t recall snacking very often between breakfast and lunch, so when lunch time rolled around, I was always very hungry. Sometimes I would buy a juice from the soda machine, but not too often.

Lunch

Most of the time I preferred to bring a bagged lunch aside from those random days when I chose to have the taco salad bar or italian dunkers. It’s funny how I always seemed to have a tummy ache after eating the white bread and cheese loaded italian dunkers. I have learned so much about my body and health since then!

Mom made my lunch for the longest time which I am so thankful for, and my usual comfy tummy lunch was peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread, baby carrots, an apple or a banana, and then usually one little treat like a cookie or fruit snacks or pudding.

pb j

Snacks

After school I was always ready for a snack. Often I would go over to my aunt’s house (Betsy’s mom and dad) and hang out there for a while. Betsy and I would practice our dance steps, and then we would have a snack. My favorite afternoon snacks at her house were freshly popped popcorn and graham crackers with peanut butter and mini chocolate chips!

superbowl parmesan popcorn

graham crackers

At home, my favorite snacks were probably another mini bowl of cereal or pretzels. I was quite the carb loader back then. 🙂

Dinner

Later in the evening I would either go to dance and then come home and eat dinner, or eat dinner and then go to dance. As I got older I had more and more classes. Mom did a great job of having dinner ready for all of us, even though we were all going out the door here and there to practices, classes, study groups, etc. If someone wasn’t home for dinner, mom or dad would always plate up a serving and put it in the fridge for when they got home.

Some of my favorites were taco night, spaghetti, fajitas, and lasagna.

8006_ground_beef_soft_tacos

spaghetti with meatballs

But truly, I loved everything my mom made. I was never a picky eater and still am not to this day!

In the evening on special occasions, mom would whip us up a batch of orange julius which I believe was made with orange juice concentrate, milk, vanilla, and ice. I’m pretty sure that was it but don’t quote me on that.

orange julius

It was such a tasty treat and I always got so excited about them. I may need to try to recreate that bad boy.

So, there you have it! I was definitely a carb queen. I needed a lot of energy and brain fuel to get me through the activities of the day, and still do of course, I just get it in different forms now.

I remember many “tummy aches” growing up. I wonder if they can be attributed to dairy products and gluten? It is quite possible I guess. I remember having to plug my nose in order to finish my milk. My mom spent a lot of time researching gastrointestinal problems and we tried many different approaches to get me to feel better. At 12 years old I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis.

It’s all very interesting to me. I am learning more and more about myself every day and I continue to be amazed by the human body. It’s a good thing I decided to become a dietitian! Now my mom (who went to school for nutrition as well) and I really have good nutrition conversations.

Alright, time to go get ready for the day. I hope you had as much fun strolling down memory lane as I did.

What did you eat growing up? 

Pumpkin Waffles and Super Bowl Snacks

Hello, hello! How did everyone’s Sunday pan out? Mine was pretty darn fantastic.

It started out with Sunday morning waffles and coupon cutting. On Saturday night I pre-made pumpkin waffle batter so that on Sunday all I would have to do is crank on the waffle iron and get pourin’. I adapted a pumpkin waffle recipe from PaleOMG and they turned out very tasty!  waffle IMG_1569 waffle

The first couple of waffles didn’t come out very easily but I think it was because I was being slightly impatient waiting for them to finish cooking and opened up the iron too early. The last few turned came out way better!

I made a big batch because I wanted extra waffles to freeze so that I could have some quick breakfasts in the future. I could even slather one of those bad boys with peanut butter and call it lunch!

waffle

Pumpkin Waffles
Recipe Type: Gluten-Free Breakfast
Recipe adapted from PaleOMG at http://paleomg.com/paleo-pumpkin-waffles/
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat waffle iron–(you could use a flat griddle instead and make pancakes).
  2. In a small bowl combine dry ingredients, mix well, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl combine remaining wet ingredients. Use a hand-mixer or a whisk to beat ingredients together.
  4. Slowly mix in dry ingredients into the wet.
  5. Spray your waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray or butter and use a half cup measuring cup to scoop the batter onto the hot iron. Close and let cook for about 4-5 minutes (keep an eye on them).
  6. Serve with honey, peanut butter, syrup, or whatever you please! It would be really good to mix a small handful of chocolate chips into the batter too!

 Speaking of lunch, after running our grocery store errands, I put together a snack plate with veggies and turkey wrapped cheese, avocado, and mustard.snack plate

For dessert I had a spoonful of peanut butter.

I got into my workout gear and cranked out this leg workout with dumbbells, my plank-a-day, and other core work. I continued my workout by dusting and vacuuming (<—-such a weird word if you think about if for too long) the house. That absolutely counts as exercise in my book!

In the afternoon I snacked on a super sweet tangelo that mom and dad brought home from Florida, and a handful of cashews.

Then it was time to get ready for a Super Bowl party with a bunch of our friends. I seriously couldn’t decide what to bring for a snack to share (I am the world’s worst decision maker, ask anyone), but decided on simple yet tasty garlic parmesan popcorn.

To make the popcorn:

  1. Pop up a big batch of plain popcorn and place in a big brown grocery bag.
  2. Melt a half a stick of butter on the stove with two garlic cloves that have been peeled and cracked open.
  3. Scoop out the garlic and discard.
  4. Pour butter over popcorn and mix well.
  5. Use a mini grater to grate fresh parmesan all over the popcorn while it’s still hot. Give the bag a good shake. Serve warm if possible!

superbowl parmesan popcorn

The night was filled with great friends, kiddos, football, and of course tons of snacks.

There was jalapeño popper dip…

superbowl jalepeno popper dip

Saucy BBQ meatballs…

superbowl meatballs

Bacon wrapped lil’ smokies with a brown sugar glaze(!!)…

superbowl wrapped little smokies

Warm and hearty taco chili, beer bread…

superbowl chili

Fruit salsa with cinnamon chips, soft pretzels with cheese sauce, chips and dip…

And of course, the desserts.

superbowl cupcakes

I had good intentions of not touching any sweets but that intention was lost in the breeze as soon as my eyes caught the Special K bars. Those babies are definitely up there on the list of my favorite dessert bars. I kept shaving off piece after piece and wound up eating what would probably be equivalent to one of those big bars you buy in the bakery, but who’s keeping track?

As far as the clean eating goes, yesterday was what we call “a wash.” I am definitely okay with that though because it was GOOD, and it was just one day. Today’s a new day. 🙂 I had such a great time last night. Although I can’t say I watched a whole lot of the game, I thoroughly enjoyed the halftime show and catching up with friends. Beyonce’s still got it!

I have some very fun and relaxing plans on the agenda today. I can’t wait to tell you about it! Have a great day! xoxo

Question of the day: Did you watch the Super Bowl? What was your favorite snack?!