Blog Archives

You Win Some, You Lose Some…

I just realized something. When I finish at my job next weekend, there will be no more weekend breakfast cookies!! *Tear* Perhaps it’s something I will have to keep up on the weekends. Especially since I like to do “weekend breakfasts,” like waffles, mid-week anyways ;)

This morning was my new favourite – a s’muffernutter breakfast cookie.

101_0592

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • splash water (didn’t have almond milk last night)
  • marshmallow fluff
  • mini chocolate chips

Snack was another favourite – chopped pear and cottage cheese.

 101_0593 101_0598

Dude. Bartlett pears are 74 cents a pound at the Atlantic Superstore. Sorry $2.49/lb honeycrisp apples. You’ve been replaced.

Lunch” was egg white pillows on a whole wheat bagel with laughing cow cheese.

101_0604

And edamame.

101_0606

Love these little single-portioned containers. Perfect for lunches!

After a quick stop to the grocery store, I came home and got my bake on. First up, Peanut ButterNut Squash Muffins. Y’all know I have an aversion to pumpkin but peanut butter on butternut squash is one of my favourite things to eat. So why not make them into muffins?

I adapted this recipe from Meghann’s Pumpkin Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins which was apparently adapted from VeggieGirl’s Banana Peanut Butter Bread which was apparently adapted from the Veganomicon Cookbook. Phew! These muffins have been around!

101_0620

  • 1 cup mashed butternut squash (I cooked one in the microwave and just scooped it out)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter
  • unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze, added to the batter as needed

Mix the flour, baking soda and spices together. In a separate bowl, mix the squash, applesauce, oil, sugar and maple syrup. Slowly add wet mixture to the dry, and add almond milk to get it to that “muffin consistency” (hope you know what that is!) Bake in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes (it took mine longer for some reason). This made 12 decent sized muffins.

I of course had one immediately out of the oven slathered in Earth Balance!

101_0615

Ohmylanta. Uh-mazing. Now, you must understand, my baking expectations for myself are pretty low (you’ll understand when you see my next experiment). But these are the best muffins I’ve ever made!! Both the butternut squash and peanut butter flavours shine through, and are perfectly balanced. The texture is very dense and soft, not sickly moist like when you bake with pumpkin. I also may have quadrupled the cinnamon from the original recipe, which I think helped a lot ;)

Now. My next, uh, experiment. Well, I was not nearly as pleasantly surprised with this. I had a bruised and battered banana that needed to be used, but didn’t want any more muffins in my apartment. So I wracked my brain (and internet) and ended up with chocolate banana protein bars. They’re based on the Strawberry Banana Meal Replacement Bars I found here.

  • 1 cup raw oatmeal
  • 5 scoops of strawberry protein powder ( 90g of protein) – I used 6 scoops of my chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup fat free cream cheese – I used 4 laughing cow cheese wedges
  • 1/2 cup non fat dry milk powder – Omitted, ran out
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup water – Replaced with 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 bananas, mashed – Just used one
  • 2 tsp. canola oil

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9×9 square pan with cooking spray & set aside. In a medium bowl combine oatmeal, protein powder & dry milk. Set aside. In another bowl beat together with an electric hand mixer, cream cheese, egg whites, bananas, water & oil. Add the oat mixture & continue to beat until the two are combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan & bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

First and foremost, they are not muffins. But I don’t own a 9×9 baking pan, or anything remotely close. So I made what I thought would be “circular bars.” Except they puffed up!!!

101_0628

I have no idea how this happened! :P The mix was super liquidy and I was expecting them to just harden in the oven. Apparently not. They’re a little squishy, but texture-wise not too bad. It’s just the protein powder. I love the taste of protein powder. But it’s too sweet for me in baked goods. At least in chocolate form anyways. I’m still going to eat them though. Anything is edible with nut butter on it ;)

I was going to make hummus after this, but I ran out of garbanzo beans!! I always have a can on hand so I didn’t bother picking any up at the grocery store. Boo :(

I kept my oven working for dinner, roasting (or baking, whatever) a chicken breast, sweet potato, mushrooms and onions.

101_0637

I covered the chicken in some Kirkland organic no-salt seasoning then topped the sweet potato with cottage cheese. Wonderful meal, the chicken was SO juicy!! I think I’m starting to get a hang of this poultry thing.

Now I’m stuffed!! I snacked a lot while I was in the kitchen and cleaning today. But alas, tomorrow is a new day. I took a rest day today because my quads are still wrecked from Friday’s spin class. Now they should be good to go for one of my notorious Sunday afternoon gym visits ;)

Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

 

Questions of the Day:

1. What is your favourite kind of muffin? Mine is carrot (no surprise there) but runner ups would be apple oatmeal and banana nut.

2. What is your worst baking FAIL? My first attempt at cupcakes in high school was probably my worst. The pages in my mom’s cookbook stuck together, and I accidentally added three whole eggs to the dozen-sized batter. They turned into little egg cakes :P

Step by Step

Well, I failed on getting that 8 hours sleep I promised. My rumbling tummy had me up at 6am. Once I awake to a growling stomach, there is no falling back asleep.

So I whipped up a morning feast to quiet my tummy beast.

101_0089

French toast! I dredged two pieces whole grain bread in 1/2 cup egg whites and cinnamon. I dipped them in my favourite mix of fake syrup and almond butter. And a little citrus on the side for good measure ;) Awesome! Totally makes up for my last failed attempt at french toast. I used Sobeys bakery bread too, which is one of my favourites!

I told myself last night that I’d make the call on going to step class based on how I was feeling this morning. I wasn’t really feeling my last step class and I didn’t want to force myself through another one if I wasn’t into it. However, I decided to approach it a little differently today. Instead of lugging myself down there and just going through the motions, I convinced myself it was going to be a good workout.

So as I drank my coffee and let my breakfast digest, I started getting myself pumped up. I got to class early, picked out a prime location, while smiling at my fellow class goers. The second the instructor blasted the music, I was in it. No dragging necessary. I hopped, skipped, jumped, and even shook my booty a little. I tried more complicated versions of the moves, and made sure to jump extra high when I could. It was awesome.

Point of the story is, sometimes all it takes is a little positive thinking. A workout is what we make it. If you’re groaning about getting through a run after work, or having to be up at 5am to sneak in that pump class, just try to tackle it with a positive attitude. Not only will you have more fun (gasp! enjoy a workout!? :P ) but the extra effort you put in will pay off physically as well :)

I came home drenched in sweat, with a stupid grin on my face, and whipped up my new favourite Amazing Grass smoothie.

101_0094

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond breeze
  • 2 scoops plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 scoop Chocolate Amazing Meal
  • handful ice cubes

This stuff has seriously grown on me!! I still can’t get over how filling it is. I’m convinced it’s the 6g of fibre in one scoop. Someday I’m going to get the guts to add more banana and a scoop of almond butter and see how it fares as a meal. Maybe ;)

So I did something borderline embarrassing today – I applied and two Starbucks locations I used to work at! I told them I’m just looking for a couple shifts a week through the holidays. I’m finished at my full-time job Dec. 6, so it would be nice to have something to get me through until I find a new job. I’m not too sure either place will hire me back. My old roommate is in charge at one location, and we did not end on good terms. The other place is now run by a guy who was acting manager at a Starbucks until they offered the position to me. Drama, I know. I’m convinced Starbucks implants chips in our brains so none of us can ever leave :P

I tried my best to coast through the mall without getting pulled into sales. But I’m weak. And this coat was just too cute.

101_0099 
Hi!!! I regret nothing. One has to be fashionable when begging for jobs.

Oh, and those chocolate protein muffins I made?

101_0101

They were a no-go. I should have stuck to Seth’s original recipe. Way too hard and dry. And the protein powder gave them a funky taste. Thankfully, Emily gave me the excellent idea to make bread pudding with the remaining muffins. Genius!

Yogurt however, is a delicious vehicle for chocolate protein powder. I am officially obsessed with this combo.

101_0105

I purposely don’t mix it thoroughly so I get chunks of chocolate-y protein powder. Yeah, I love the taste of it :)

That’s it for me today! I’m working all evenings this week. In a way it’s a nice change of pace to have my mornings off. I get to catch up with all my favourite daytime TV personalities :)

 

Question of the Day: What are some jobs you’ve held in the past? Favourites? Any disasters? I’ve spent the majority of my working life as a barista or reporter. But my first job was as a cashier at Zellers when I was 16. I suppose my most notable job was hosting a cable news show here in town. I don’t think I’m cut out for television though. My TV boss told me I had hair for radio :P

A Day in the Kitchen

Well first off, I want to say how impressed I am no one chewed my head off for counting calories again! Everyone understood my personal need to “check-in” on how I’m doing with maintaining my weight loss. That’s why I love you all :) For the record, it’s not entirely to track the number of calories I’m eating, as I’m pretty sure I’ve done a decent job at keeping that steady. But I want to take a look at how much sugar I’m having, and how I’m doing with protein. Plus, I’m a nerd and get a kick out of seeing the numbers sometimes :P

Moving on! I have a ton of food photos so I’m going to skip over the morning food.I did however make it to my favourite step class. I don’t know what was up today, but I was feeling kinda “meh” about it. I got that vibe from the whole class. I just wasn’t in the mood for jumping over a bench for an hour. Too bad I didn’t figure that out until I started! Oh well.

I made up for it with a noon-hour yoga class. Yes, I like to spend my days off doing exercise classes :P It was a 45-minute BodyFlow class and it was juuuust right. I’m really happy I committed to doing yoga three days a week this month. I love it so much more when I do it often!

I must share my lunch, as it featured my version of a “crack wrap.”

100_9979

Crack pita ;) Sabra red pepper hummus, swiss cheese on a whole wheat pita toated in a frying pan. And yes, it is so good, it’s just like crack.

On the side I had my leftover roasted tofu and veggies on top of spinach and tomatoes. I’m a volume eater, so the spinach made my plate look more full :)

100_9977

Aalllll together now!

100_9973

Yum! Such a treat to eat a hot lunch. I can only have cold ones when I’m at work. 

Work lunches don’t often include dessert either.

100_9981

100_9984

80% chocolate seems to be juuuust right for me. 90% is too intense, and 70% is too bland. The best thing about the dark stuff is you don’t even need a whole square to satisfy that sweet tooth.

My afternoon was then spent in the kitchen!

First up: Pumpkin Spice Roasted Chickpeas.

100_9999 
I’ve been hearing amaaaazing things about these all around the blogosphere. I don’t know what I was expecting, but these just tasted like chickpeas to me (duh). Clearly I need to quadruple the cinnamon in every recipe :P

Next up were some of Seth’s Low-Fat Chocolate Muffins:

101_0013

I haven’t tried these yet, but I’m a little wary. I never screw with baking recipes, because I don’t really know the first thing about baking. But I subbed out the sugar and cocoa in this recipe for chocolate protein powder, left out the applesauce and added 1 tbsp ground flax. I also accidentally overcooked them because I was busy snacking and forgot about them. I’ll let you know how they turned out tomorrow!

Oh, but what was I snacking on? A persimmon! 

100_9987

Kinda looks like a tomato, but it’s actually a sweet fruit. I’ve been seeing a lot of these on blogs lately as well. I believe it’s because they’re in season, also why they were on sale at the grocery store (Sobey’s).

I had no idea what to expect when I cut into it, or how to eat it. So I just sliced it up and ate the whole thing!

100_9994

I would say it’s like a firmer, milder peach. Apparently you’re not supposed to eat the skin, but I thought it tasted good! It was a little tough, like a mango’s (but I’ll eat mango skins too). I think this one was just slightly under ripe, as it was quite crispy like an apple in the center, and then really soft like a peach towards the outside. Overall, downright delicious!! I hope they’re still on sale – I want more! :)

Then it was back to the kitchen for my third and final dish of the day – chili!! Probably one of my favourite meals ever, and my first batch of the season. I eat a lot of chilis, soups, stews, etc, in the winter.

Typically, I like to do fun recipes for chili, but I wanted my first batch to be old-school. So I just winged it.

 

Thick n’ Spicy Moo-Beef Chili

101_0028

  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 1 14 oz can red kidney beans
  • 1 14 oz can black beans (I used the Eden Organic no-salt kind for both beans)
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (again, organic no-salt kind)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (I used Frank’s)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar

Sautee the onion and green pepper until slightly soft, then add beef and jalapeño. I did this in my pot because it’s giant and has a wide bottom. Then stir in the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for 45-60 minutes.

101_0038

This is my first real-beef chili since childhood! (hence the name) It tastes so different, even from turkey. It’s definitely thick and meaty. A “man’s” chili if you will ;) 

Well, I know it’s Flashback Friday and all, but I’m going to have to skip this week. My bedtime is quickly approaching (work at 5am tomorrow!) and I still have this to deal with:

101_0040

Yes, that’s the size of my whole kitchen. Enough counter space for one cutting board. At least it’s less surface to keep sanitized! (and no mops required, floor can be hand-scrubbed in 5 minutes ;) )

Hope you’re all getting a wonderful start to your weekend!!

 

Question of the Day: Do you prefer cooking or baking? I definitely feel more in my element making meals. Add some flour or sugar to the mix and I get totally lost!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 487 other followers