Category Archives: vegetarian

Up and at’em! (+ 5-Hour Energy Confession)

The drive in last night was long and sleepy. It was quite the week, even if only 4 days. There was a full week and then some crammed into Monday through Thursday and I found myself having trouble staying away one hour into my 5 1/2-hour drive back to Chicago. Of course, Mr. Prevention’s suggestion was 5-Hour Energy.

Well, friends, desperate times call for desperate measures. I stopped at some scary gas station in Indiana and picked up a 5-Hour Energy (pomegranate flavor…which was tolerable, by the way). I’ll tell you, the stuff really did the trick. It PAINS me to admit that, but it really did. I still don’t advocate for he MEGADOSE of B-vitamins (or 8333% the daily value of anything!), but my sleepiness was to the point I was going to have to pull over and grab a hotel room if something didn’t wake me up. And 6 hours later, I conked out the second I hit the pillow and slept through the night a full 8 hours. Hmmm?

I had told my parents last night that I wanted to sleep in. What a joke. I was up well before anyone else. I can attribute some of that to being on EST in a CST zone, but this is just another sign that I’m getting old(er). A sign I am totally okay with, so long as I get my 8 hours of beauty rest! πŸ˜€

When I got into town last night, my mom showed me a few recipes she had printed off that Taste of Home had sent this week. Of course, I had saved the very same recipes to try. Great minds think alike πŸ˜€ Sign up for Taste of Home email recipes if you haven’t already — they have healthy options, quick options, budget-friendly…it’s great!

Plans today include visiting family & friends, working out, and going out to eat at the restaurant my little brother works at πŸ™‚

I won’t leave you guys recipe-less, however. I made this recipe before teaching on Monday night. It took all of 15 minutes and was absolutely wonderful. I turned my co-worker onto one of my favorite blogs, My Bizzy Kitchen, and she raved about this soup. So of course, I had to make it, too. Tomato soup takes me back to the days of living in my sorority house: everyone was always at lunch when tomato soup and grilled cheese were on the menu! πŸ˜‰

Simple Tomato Soup slightly adapted from My Bizzy Kitchen

2-28 oz canned no-salt added tomatoes (one can diced, one can fire roasted)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp Italian parsley, freshly chopped
1 serving Hot Sauce, Tabasco
1 cloves garlic, minced

Directions:

Gently heat the olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, taking care not to brown the garlic.

Stir in the canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

Remove from stove, let cool slightly. Using a (stick) blender puree soup. Add in cream. Serves 4 (2 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 196 calories; 10 g. fat; 27 mg. cholesterol; 130 mg. sodium; 18.5 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 5 g. protein

Result: This was delicious! Don’t freak out about the heavy cream…a little bit goes a long way! I used no-salt added tomatoes to knock the sodium content down and the recipe didn’t need any salt added…the cream, garlic, and oil season it beautifully. The portion is BIG and pairs so well with some homemade bread. The soup reheated great for lunches, and can be stretched to 6 servings or more as a side dish. Enjoy!

I think it’s time to get out of bed and get some coffee. I heard my mom pitter-patter down the stairs not too long ago. πŸ˜‰

Question: Do you like tomato soup? Do you pair it with grilled cheese?

TGIF!!

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Filed under age, caffeine, coffee, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garlic, healthy cooking, low-carb, recipe, sleep, sodium, travel, vegetarian, vitamins

Creamy Parmesan Spinach Dip

Happy Wednesday!

It’s snowing just about everywhere in the US it seems! When I walked out of work yesterday (in ballet flats!) a good 4″ of snow had fallen. Needless to say, the 20 steps to my car lead to near frost bite. Brrrrr!!! But despite this weather, the show must go on. I have lab rounds at a clinic that’s 50 miles north of home and then I will double back to go teach tonight. It’s probably fair to say I’ll be commuting most of the day. Fabulous.

Though, sitting in the car sounds okay right about now. I decided to shovel for my workout last night. I went out with intentions of just just do the sidewalks, but that only took about 10 minutes. So I decided to shovel the DRIVEWAY! Yep, you read that correctly. And the best part: we have a brand new snow blower! I’m walking like a hunch-back today, and sore is the understatement of the century, but it was a KILLER workout! I wonder what the neighbors are saying… πŸ˜‰

On to a lightened up classic! This recipe contains light mayonnaise, which I must admit, I love. I know a lot of people don’t like mayonnaise, but I love the stuff (Hellmann’s mayonnaise, please! And no Miracle Whip! Ew!). It’s not like I use it often, but I love it in recipes where it belongs: chicken salad, tuna salad, dips, etc. I recall several years ago brainstorming summer job options with my sister-in-law — one of her requirements for a job was that it didn’t involve mayonnaise!! We had a good laugh over that one. I have a terrible memory, but I’ll never forget it! πŸ˜‰

Creamy Parmesan Spinach Dip from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess liquid squeezed out
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise
1/3 cup Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cup scallion, chopped
fresh pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl. Can be made one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Yield: 2 cups (8 servings, 1/4 cup each).

Nutrition Information (per 1/4 cup): 84 calories; 6.1 g. fat; 16 mg. cholesterol; 172 mg. sodium; 2.4 g. carbohydrate; 0.3 g. fiber; 4.4 g. protein

Result: DELICIOUS! I ate this cold with crackers and veggies, Mr. P heated it up and ate it on chips. It is versatile and scrumptious! It’s perfect to take in lunches to doll-up raw veggies, or as an appetizer at a dinner party. And the portion size is generous for the nutrition stats! Enjoy! πŸ˜€

Off for a crazy day! Why do I have a feeling dinner is going to be a Larabar and clementines? Going prepared!

Question: Is it snowing where you are? Do you like mayonnaise?

Drive safe! Stay warm!


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Filed under condiments, fruits and vegetables, Gina's WW Recipes, hors d'oeuvres, low-carb, physical activity, recipe, reduced-calorie, teaching, travel, Uncategorized, vegetarian, work

Quiche Cornbread

Gooood morning!

I hope your weekend is going splendidly! I got in both lesson planning AND a good workout yesterday (3 mile run + 15 minutes on the elliptical) all while managing to stay in my PJ’s until 4pm :-D. And I grocery shopped, too! Mr. P and I stayed in with a movie and just ate leftovers…nothing special πŸ™‚ But this morning I made up for a dull culinary night.

Quiche Cornbread adapted from Healthy Tipping Point

1 head broccoli, roasted
8.5 ounce box Jiffy corn muffin mix
5 eggs, divided
1/2 cup egg substitute
1/4 2/3 cup almond skim milk, divided
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup 2% cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350Β° F.

Chop broccoli into florets and roast for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the cornbread mix by adding 1/3 cup milk and 1 egg to the box of Jiffy. Combine well. Pour into a greased 12″ cast iron skillet and bake for 15 minutes.

After roasted and slightly cooled, chop broccoli into bits. Combine broccoli, 4 eggs, egg substitute, milk, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.Β  Beat thoroughly. Pour egg mix on top of cornbread. Sprinkle with cheese.Β  Put back in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 350.Β  Increase temp to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing. Yield: 6 pieces.

Nutrition Information (for 1/6th): 280 calories; 10.3 g. fat; 186 mg. cholesterol; 643 mg. sodium; 34.8 g. carbohydrate; 1.7 g. fiber; 14.7 g. protein

Result: This was delicious! I highly recommend making this for a group or as breakfast to reheat for the week. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, I think a round bakeware would do just fine. And you’ve got to love veggies for breakfast…woop woop! Enjoy!

I get to play hockey tonight! Last “season” ended in early December and I do believe my skate blades are getting a bit rusty!! Hope we win! πŸ˜€

Question: Do you enjoy quiche?

Weight Watchers post tomorrow – look for it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Filed under breakfast, exercise, fruits and vegetables, healthy cooking, hockey, protein, recipe, vegetarian

Epic breakfast…for dinner

Just for fun, here are just a FEW questions my students have asked in our first 2 classes:

  • How often should you have a bowel movement?
  • Is high-fructose corn syrup really worse than sugar?
  • Is stevia safe?
  • Why does the Atkins diet help people lose weight?
  • How many calories do I need to gain weight?
  • Do carbohydrates make you fat?
  • Why does the government subsidize cornΒ  if the MyPyramid is aiming to reduce high-fructose corn syrup consumption?

Do I have some smart, inquisitive pupils or what? I guess I should now mention that the first 2 chapters we’ve gone over have nothing to do with any of those questions (and those were just a FEW), but the class discussion is priceless. And some of the false information floating around out there is just plain’ol SCARY!

So while teaching is going well, a 6pm start time has caused dinners to be very…rushed. And that is quite the understatement.

Let me preface this next part by saying that I am notoriously late, always. Not a lot, but a little. And when you’re the teacher, that just doesn’t fly. So I’m really trying to be ON TIME…if only to class.

Monday night I shoveled down a bowl of cereal and a banana before jetting off to class. Last night, I made an epic breakfast for dinner that I had to eat in, literally, 2 minutes. Of course, had I not taken the time to photograph this lovely meal, I would’ve had 4 minutes or so, but I had to do this French toast justice. Because I very well know that pretty pictures make you more likely to believe my rave reviews…riiiight?

Lightened Up Crème Brûlée French Toast from Skinny Taste

1 cup unpacked brown sugar
1/4 cup water
cooking spray
10 oz Challah bread, sliced 1 inch thick
2 large eggs
1 cup egg substitute
1-1/2 cups 1% milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp Meyers rum (optional) – I omitted
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

In a small heavy saucepan melt brown sugar and water over moderate-low heat, stirring, until smooth and melted, about 1 minute, then pour into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Arrange bread slices in one layer in baking dish, squeezing them slightly to fit.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, egg substitute, milk, vanilla, rum, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and salt until combined well and pour evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350Β° F and bring bread to room temperature. Bake uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed and edges are pale golden, 40 to 50 minutes. Top with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 342 calories; 4.5 g. fat; 84 mg. cholesterol; 378 mg. sodium; 64.6 g. carbohydrate; 1 g. fiber; 12.2 g. protein

Result: YUM-O! When I saw Renee rave about this recipe on her blog, I knew I had to try it. As if the title of the recipe wasn’t tempting enough. I made this in the morning and we had it for supper, but you could just as easily, and more traditionally, make it at night to serve the following morning. Super simple, absolutely delicious!

I want to continue making nutritious meals on Monday and Wednesday nights, but I think 1) I need to utilize the crock pot on these nights (or eat leftovers), and 2) I may need to go lighter on lunch and have a small, early dinner (4:30ish) before class and a snack afterward. I did the later last night — one piece of French toast before class and a fresh strawberry and banana smoothie for afterward. It worked well. πŸ™‚

I am looking forward to a long workout and another healthy, homemade meal tonight. Lily is going to daycare so that after work I can get in a long run not feel guilty about it. Plus, she could use the exercise, too! πŸ˜‰

Question: What’s your favorite quick and easy meal? Or a meal that can be prepped ahead of time?

P.S. Last chance to enter the LARABAR Giveaway! It ends TONIGHT!

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Filed under Atkins, breakfast, carbohydrates, crock pot, dinner, dog, exercise, fruits and vegetables, Gina's WW Recipes, Giveaway, high-fructose corn syrup, pets, physical activity, recipe, running, snack, teaching, vegetarian

Teacher, teacher!

I am officially a college instructor! I taught my first nutrition course last night and it went really, really, really well! My class only has one open spot and all of the students seem eager to learn and cooperative. Oh, and VERY talkative. I feel like they asked wonderful questions and I can tell they are all fully engaged. Or at least most of them πŸ˜‰ It should be a busy, fun quarter! I think I will learn just as much about myself and teaching as my students will about nutrition…or at least that’s my hope! Thank you for all of your kind comments and emails of encouragement – muah! I never imagined being so nervous about teaching a subject I am so educated and passionate about, but my anxiety just melted away as the lecture went on and I felt completely comfortable leading the class; with one class behind me, I am feeling much more at ease. And I will feel even more at easy when I have the next 2 chapters read and ready to lecture on for Wednesday’s class πŸ˜‰

Anyhoodles, I hope you all had a wonderful weekend ringing in 2011. I enjoyed some Prosecco – delicious! It is going to take a long time for me to quit signing the date as 2010, how about you? I think I finally got over signing ’09 by ohhh…September πŸ˜‰

Mr. Prevention and I had a very relaxing weekend. I stayed in my PJ’s until 5pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday. Now THAT is what I call a weekend! While in my PJ’s, I was rather productive, however. The Christmas decorations are down and packed away, I meal planned for the busy week ahead, I made breakfast for the week, I made bread for a new co-worker of Mr. P’s, I developed my course syllabus and class schedule, etc…productive! πŸ˜€ And on a less productive note, The Fighter was fabulous — love, love, loved it!

The breakfast I made for the week was probably the highlight of my PJ time. It was so impressive that I made the same recipe for Mr. P to give to his new co-worker who just moved to town. Yep, impressive recipe it was!

Oatmeal Banana Nut Bread adapted from Joy the Baker, as seen on The Healthy Apron

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 large egg, beaten
2 medium egg whites, beaten
4 medium over-ripe bananas
1 cup uncooked old fashioned oats
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Preheat the oven 350Β° F and spray 1 loaf pan with cooking spray. Combine all dry ingredients including the oats and cinnamon. Mash bananas in a separate bowl, adding the oil and eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add the wet ingredients into the dry flour mixture; mix until combined (do not over-mix). Fold in chopped walnuts last. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 45-50 mins. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then flip out onto a wire rack. Yield: 10 slices.

Nutrition Information (1/10th of loaf): 208 calories; 4.9 g. fat; 22 mg. cholesterol; 179 mg. sodium; 37.6 g. carbohydrate; 3.8 g. fiber; 15.5 g. sugar; 3.3 g. protein

Result: This was deeeelicious! I love the addition of oats for added fiber and the use of LOTS of bananas makes the wet ingredients lighter than lots of oil, butter, milk, eggs, etc. Erin described this bread as one of her favorite recipes in 2009 and that sealed the deal and I had to make it. Very glad I did — you will love this bread, too. I also simplified the directions…by not reading them — oops! The original recipe called for a hand mixer and beating the egg whites to peaks and folding them in to the mixture. I simply mixed the wet ingredients: eggs, bananas, and oil together and combined with the dry ingredients. The bread was not overly dense and so I saw no reason for the added steps and kitchen mess πŸ˜‰ Sometimes not following directions ends up in disaster, sometimes it’s a time saver! Enjoy!

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And because my readers love Lily and she was so darn cute this weekend…

What dog spends so much time flat on her back creating endless funny photo ops? LILY!

Question: What’s something you want to accomplish in 2011? Health-related or otherwise!

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the LARABAR giveaway I’m hosting! It ends Thursday! There will be TEN lucky winners!!!

Lots of love,

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Filed under breakfast, dog, fiber, healthy cooking, movie, pets, recipe, reduced-calorie, teaching, vegetarian

treat yourself…to breakfast! + new year’s resolution results

Registered Dietitians and moms most certainly agree on one thing: breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

Lately, I’ve been climbing into my car in the morning, with half of my belongings in tow, and I am realizing something very important…I have been forgetting breakfast. Whether it be eating breakfast at home in the morning, or grabbing something on the go, breakfast has simply vanished from my routine. (And because I am notoriously running late, I don’t go back inside to grab something and rough it through the morning hours.)

As a breakfast lover and someone who wakes up with a grumbling tummy, I had to ponder how and why this was happening. Day after day after day. My co-workers and patients appreciate my soul-searching, too. Hungry me = mean me!

I came to the conclusion that my breakfast options were boring and so breakfast no longer interested me. I took a few moments to peruse my plethora of “to try” recipes and found this one. Glad I did!

Pancake Truffles slightly adapted from Healthy Tipping Point

1/2 cup raw oatmeal
1/3 cup whole wheat pancake mix (I used an omega-3 mix)
1 egg white
1/4 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup almond milk (I used skim)
4 1/2 inches of banana (cut into three 1.5 inch pieces)
1/4 cup whole pecans, crushed
3 Tbsp sugar-free maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350Β° F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or tin foil. Place crushed pecans in a small bowl.

Combine first five ingredients in small bowl. Separate mix into three piles. Take one segment of banana and coat in the pancake mix. Form ball around the banana segment, and then roll in the crushed pecans. Place on the cookie sheet. Repeat with other banana segments. Bake for 15 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup and sever immediately. Serves 1.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 599 calories; 24 g. fat; 1 mg. cholesterol; 492 mg. sodium; 86 g. carbohydrate; 15 g. fiber; 17 g. sugar; 19 g. protein

Result: These were excellent! And they sound more difficult than they are — I was able to whip these together in 5-6 minutes after a morning workout and I baked them while I showered. I gobbled them down while my hair dried and it was perfect! You could also make these the evening before or even whip up a few batches for the busy work week and simply store them in the fridge until ready to bake. They are higher in carbohydrate than I usually go for, especially for the morning, but following a workout, I think they are perfectly appropriate. The high fiber (15 grams!) content also makes the glycemic load less on the body, which is all the better. If you want to reduce the calories some, reduce the amount of pecans as they account for nearly 1/3rd of the calories. While I think they add a lot of taste, texture, and nutrition to the truffles, you could get by with less. Enjoy!

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And in honor of it being the last day of 2010 (crazy!), I should take a moment to review how my 2010 resolutions turned out.

2010 New Year’s Resolution Results

  • fit in exercise AT LEAST 4 days a week, every week — Almost a check. There were TWO weeks in 2010 I only worked out 3 days. So close! I still consider this a great accomplishment and I want to continue to work towards this always and forever! I really do love exercise and for that I am VERY grateful!
  • continue trying new, healthy recipes (one recipe a week!) — Check, check, check!
  • run a half marathon — Barely, but check. I finished. It wasn’t pretty, but it got done. Very humbling.
  • obtain a weight that I feel energized at — Errr no. I am the exact same weight as the start of 2010. I guess that’s not a BAD thing, but this is my focus in 2011.
  • continue blogging about nutrition — Hi! I’m here! Check!
  • earn 500 hours towardsΒ the CDE credential — Check. This is no longer surging ahead at the speed I was going in my last job, but I am still completing diabetic education and I still love it just as much as I did in 2009! πŸ˜€

    In 2011 my new year’s resolution is simply to obtain a weight I feel energized at. I would love to lose my “PCOS weight” and get back down to my “happy weight”. Here goes nothing! πŸ˜‰

    Question: What’s been your favorite breakfast lately? Is it heaviest in carbohydrate, protein, or fat? And, what are YOUR new year’s resolutions?

    Happy 2011 to all of my lovely readers! Thank you for your loyal readership, it means so much to me! It’s hard to believe I started this blog in June of 2009!!! Time flies when you’re having fun! Keep your eyes peeled for a giveaway coming up here shortly!! πŸ˜‰

    Have a safe and WONDERFUL New Year’s celebration!! I hope I am the only one stuck at work today! 😦

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    Filed under blog, breakfast, carbohydrates, diabetes, dietitians, exercise, fiber, fish oil/omega-3's, holiday, PCOS, physical activity, recipe, reduced-calorie, vegetarian, weight loss, work

    Sweet Potato Rice Pudding

    It’s not like I didn’t already know that 15 hour work days were no fun, but I can confirm that after yesterday. I had orientation for adjunct faculty last night and *yawn*. Necessary, but *yawn*. Just one of those things.

    Last night, Mr. P helped me throw dinner in the crock pot for tonight. Crock pot meals that can be made at 10pm for the following day are my kind of meals…assuming it’s good. TBD. More on that tomorrow πŸ™‚

    When I went to take my shower last night, I was faced with another hairy decision: wash my hair and don’t working in the morning, or don’t wash my hair and force myself to workout in the morning. I went with the later, so this post will be brief. When time is hard to come by, and stress levels rise, I figure THAT is the perfect time to MAKE time for a workout. So I have 45 minutes on the elliptical planned for…now! Wee!

    But quickly, a recipe. I made this Sweet Potato Rice Pudding before Christmas and froze individual portions. It defrosted really well and it was the perfect “chill out” treat before bed last night. YUM!

    Sweet Potato Rice Pudding seen at The Novice Chef, adapted from Healthy Food for Living

    1 cup water
    1/2 cup brown rice
    pinch of salt
    2 cups 2% milk
    1 Tbsp honey
    1 Tbsp maple syrup
    1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste
    1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
    a pinch of nutmeg
    a pinch of ginger
    a pinch of garam masala
    1/2 1/4 cup golden raisins
    1 cup sweet potato puree (or mashed sweet potatoes)

    Directions:

    Combine water, rice, and salt in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, stir once, and cover with a tight fitting lid. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. The rice will be slightly undercooked, but will continue to cook in the next step. Remove rice from pot and place in a bowl, set aside.

    Combine milk, honey, maple syrup, vanilla bean paste, and spices to the same pot. Bring to a very low boil over medium heat, whisking often so the milk doesn’t scorch. Lower heat to medium-low.

    Whisk in the cooked rice, sweet potato puree, and raisins. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Simmer and occasionally stir until milk cooks down and the rice is creamy, about 20 minutes. DO NOT over-cook.

    Transfer rice pudding to a large bowl and allow to cool, pudding will thicken during this step. To speed up the process you can refrigerate utnil well-chilled.

    Serve warm or cold, with an extra dollop of sweet potato puree and a dusting of cinnamon if desired. Serves 6.

    Nutrition Information (per serving): 172 calories; 2.3 g. fat; 7 mg. cholesterol; 96 mg. sodium; 29 g. carbohydrate; 15.8 g. sugar; 2.5 g. fiber; 4.3 g. protein

    Result: Very good! This isn’t an overly sweet dessert, and the portion is plentiful. I love that it’s low in fat and sodium, with a moderate amount of carbohydrate, along with some fiber. It can be prepared ahead of time, which is great for entertaining. Mr. P refused to even try this dessert, so I ended up freezing a good portion of it for later dates, and it defrosted perfectly! Mmmm!

    Question: Have you ever cooked with homemade vanilla beans?

    …delicious!

    Off to run and then to work! Illinois plays in both basketball (Big 10 season starts!) AND the Texas Bowl tonight!

    Go Illini!!!


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    Filed under crock pot, dessert, exercise, fiber, fruits and vegetables, guilt-free, recipe, sodium, Uncategorized, vegetarian, work