WIAW: Leftovers

 

 

Breakfast

I’m a huge fan of runny eggs, but it wasn’t until recently that someone pointed out how gross the white around the yolk is when it doesn’t cook all the way through. Thanks for that.

Snack

Pink Lady apple!!

Lunch

I was desperate for lunch today, so I simply had leftover Hoisin Spaghetti Squash and Taziki dip with pita bread

Snack

Banana (I’m boring) and Lady Grey tea

Dinner 

Peruvian perogie filled with queso ahumado and blue potato, served with tomato-panca sauce (sorry, no picture!)

Ok, so not my best WIAW, but I did get some serious veggies in!


Yamburgers!

Have you ever heard of a Yamburger? No? Well you’re seriously missing out.

Today for lunch a vegan coworker brought in yamburgers, a recipe I had picked up from Foodbuzz and sent her way, for us to share. They were 100% vegan and gluten-free (except for the buns), but would impress the pants off any meat eater who dared to try one. The sweetness from the sweet potatoes and corn mixed with the spicy kick from the red pepper flakes put this dish high on my list of faves. The sauce, which was a chipotle/cilantro cream, made me realize just how little I missed mayonnaise. Taste aside, this recipe is packed full of good-for-you ingredients.

  • Black beans – great for nervous system health, cardiovascular health, blood sugar regulation, and fighting off cancers
  • Sweet potatoes – high in iron, vitamin D, C, and B6, great source of magnesium, and also a cancer fighting veggie
  • Quinoa – helps with cleaning the digestive tract, great source of calcium, terrific for boosting blood flow to the brain, and chocked full of protein
  • Cumin – full of antioxidants, good source of iron and great for metabolism
  • Garlic – helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, can prevent blood clots, can help improve the immune system, and can prevent

Top this recipe with any vegetable, but I’d recommend sticking with a creamy avocado. Mmm.

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Yamburgers with Chipotle Cilantro Cream 
(Vegan and gluten-free – makes 8-10 patties)

2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs.), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
15 oz. black beans, drained
1 cup sweet corn
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup rolled oats (or almonds)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or cayenne (more or less to taste)
1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

Oil for pan frying.

Method:

  1. Cube your potatoes (leaving the skin on) and either oven roast (400f.), steam, or microwave in a large heat-safe bowl with a couple TBSP water until tender – I find the microwave to be a real time saver, and takes about 6-8 minutes. Stop to give them a stir every minute or two, until mashably soft.
  2. Meanwhile, cook your quinoa. A 1/2 cup of dry will make enough for the burgers, but feel free to make extra. Add the quinoa to a small pot over medium heat, and let it toast for a minute or two. Add double the amount of water, bring to a simmer, and cover. Let cook 12-13 minutes, turn off the heat, and let it sit without removing the lid for another 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, meanwhile… Add your oats (or almonds) to the bowl of your food processor and pulse until it looks like very coarse flour. About 30-40 pulses.
  4. In a large bowl, combine about 2/3rds of the beans, and 2/3rds of the sweet potato. Mash with a potato masher until slightly chunky and not quite smooth. Add in the rest of the beans, sweet potato and all of the seasonings. Give it another mash or two, keeping some of the texture.
  5. Add all the other ingredients, and stir to combine.
  6. Heat a skillet over medium-high, and add a drizzle of oil. Form about 1/2 cup of the mixture into a tight ball, then press it between your hands into a patty. Place patties in the hot skillet and cook 4-5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate in the oven to keep warm, and repeat with the rest of the mixture. Add oil and adjust the heat on the pan as needed.

For the chipotle/cilantro cream:
2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water (can be replaced with 1.5 cups vegan sour cream or mayonnaise)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 limes, juiced
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, packed
Pinch of salt

If you’re using vegan sour cream or mayo, simply combine all ingredients in your food processor.
If not, drain the cashews and dump them to the food processor. Add the juice of both limes, and blend until smooth. Slowly add 3/4 – 1 cup water, until the cashews are about the consistency of a thick sour cream.
Add the peppers and garlic, blend until smooth, and then add the cilantro. Pulse a few times to combine, and season with a pinch of salt to taste.

Grace’s Healthy Tip of the Day: Eat more Weight Watcher’s Giant Latte bars.

WIAW: Tikka Masala Curry

 

This WIAW is a mix of what I had over the past few days. Because today’s lunch was an epic fail, I won’t be sharing it, but rather substituting in lunch from yesterday.

Breakfast:

Cinnamon oats (recycled picture of cocoa oats)

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Lunch:

Leftover cannellini beans with spinach and garlic (sorry it’s so blurry!)

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Dinner:

Tikka Masala Curry mushrooms and peas with brown rice and a piece of pita

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Snack:

Two bowls of Chex cereal (not pictured due to shame)

Return From a 3-Day Weekend

This weekend was a three-day pig out fest for me. On Friday, I went to a birthday dinner of my friend Micah, hit another celebration for Alex’s dad on Saturday and met up with another friend, Danica, last night. Fast forward to today and you’ll find a pudge-bellied Bailee. Of course I had fun at each of these dinners (got to meet Micah’s pharmacy school friends and enjoyed visiting with her boyfriend/my family’s long-time friend), but it definitely made my decision to observe Lent an easy one.

We literally have a million photos like this.

I’ll first preface by saying that I’m not the name brand Catholic, but rather the off brand Episcopalian. I say this because the Episcopal Church describes itself as being “Protestant, Yet Catholic” and I am much WASP-ier than Catholics. However, the Episcopalian church’s stance on certain social issues is far closer to mine than Catholicism. With this being said, in years past I’ve observed Lent and tried to remain in self-denial.  One year I gave up meat (which obviously stuck) and another year I stopped biting my nails. In all actuality, I’m very good at abstaining when necessary. (Hello, no soda for three years!) This year I’ve decided to give up two things I love dearly: chocolate and candy.

The guidelines I will be following are similar to those that Julie at PBFingers developed when she gave up sweets for Lent. Here is my list of what’s allowed and what’s not:

Not Allowed

  • Foods with little to no nutritional value that have a high sugar content (i.e. Sour Patch Kids)
  • Snickers or other chocolate candies
  • Foods contain chocolate or candy

Allowed (as long as it’s chocolate/candy free)

  • Luna and other brand snack bars
  • Frozen and Greek yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Gum
  • My gummy vitamins 

I don’t actually anticipate this being harder than it sounds, but I do think I will have to be careful about what snacks I buy over the next few weeks.

Have you ever given anything up for Lent?

My Healthy Tip of the Day brought to you by The Mayo Clinic: Consider broiling as a healthy alternative to frying. Cook food by direct heat in the broiler section of an oven or an oven-type appliance.

Running to Edinboro, PA

Since I haven’t checked in with a status report in a while, I thought I’d share with you my current location on my 465 mile journey to Rome. I’m currently in between Saegertown and Edinboro, PA.

If I would have taken a pit stop in Saegertown, here’s what I might have expected to find:

  • If I had stopped by in the early 1900s, a fabulous place called Hotel Grace. (Definitely would have stayed there!)

Ok, so that’s all I could come up with, but I bet it would be a pretty town to visit! When I hit 176 miles by the end of the week, I could check out any of the following attractions in Edinboro:

  • Take a trip to the slopes of the Mount Pleasant of Edinboro
  • Visit the Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm where I could purchase some delicious bison meat (Gag)
  • Enjoy the beautiful Edinboro Lake

All in all, it would be a pretty fun stop in my journey to Rome!

More updates to come!

WIAW: Sugar

This week may be halfway over, but I’m halfway full of nothing but pure sugar. I’ve literally been on a downward sugar spiral since Sunday night when I had some of my friend’s homemade tiramisu. Delicious!

Breakfast

Two bowls of delicious cinnamon Chex with almond milk and black coffee

Snack

A chocolate Fiber One bar to continue the sugary madness

Lunch

A boring tuna salad sandwich with some grapes and papaya

Snack

A bag of Rice Works sweet chili chips. Highly recommend!

Dinner

A very odd combination of brown rice, cannellini beans and avocado. I haven’t been to the store, so I was using the “garbage disposal” technique often referred to when creating a hodgepodge salad.

I’m sorry this was such a dull WIAW, but as you can see, I fell off the healthy wagon HARD.  Getting back on track ASAP.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Don’t start your day off with sugar. As you can see above, it only leads to bad things.

PB Snickers Cookie Bars

I really enjoy Valentine’s Day. Every year I secretly get excited to wear something pink or red and I love trying to think of something sweet to get Alex. That being said let me clear the air.

  • Much like Christmas I prefer to give rather than receive. Sure, if Alex wants to buy me a heart shaped Reese’s Cup, I won’t turn him down, but I certainly don’t like a fuss to be made.
  • I don’t feel that Valentine’s Day is a day to punish the single. Do you care about your Mom or Dad? Give them a valentine. Do you love your dog or cat? Give them a valentine. Don’t make a fun holiday a reason to be a grump; there are plenty of other things in life perfect for doing that.
  • I see no reason to celebrate reminding someone that you care. I hear people say constantly “People shouldn’t need a holiday to tell someone they care!” Then why have Easter if not to remind us of our religious responsibilities? Why celebrate Christmas if we aren’t going to give our loved ones gifts 365 days per year? Why celebrate our birthdays? The list could go on. Just relax, have some chocolate and enjoy being able to wear pink and red together without feeling tacky.

On to the topic of the hour: Alex’s V-Day dessert! A die-hard Snickers bar lover, Alex has professed his eternal commitment to this candy bar weekly since we’ve been together. So, occasionally I’ll try to incorporate this treat into one of my usual holiday desserts for him. This year, I decided to do Peanut Butter Snickers Cookie Bars. What a mouthful! I nabbed the recipe from Brown Eyed Baker and got to work last night.

• ¼ cups all-purpose flour
• ¾ teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup creamy peanut butter
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• ½ cup light brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I left this out.)
• 1½ cups chopped Snickers candy bars (I used around 18 of the mini Snickers bars.)
• ¾ cup milk chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking pan (I use a 12 x 8 x 2 size) and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the milk and the vanilla extract and mix again.

4. Add the flour mixture and beat until flour disappears. Stir in the chopped Snickers and chocolate chips.

5. When completely mixed, pour batter into baking pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on oven, and take out when sides begin to brown.
6. While warm, chop up any leftover Snickers you may have and sprinkle on top. They’ll melt and spread over the dessert, making for an extra kick of sweetness. Cool for 10-20 minutes before cutting into bars.

(Recipe adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod; adapted from Brown Eyed Baker )

My Healthy Choice of the Day: After tasting three mini cupcakes in my company’s Cupcake War activity, I walked straight back to my desk, downed a glass of water and did 50 lunges. Desk push-ups and squats to come!

Papaya Seeds

Last night I decided to cut into my papaya. I discovered two things:

I love papaya.

Papaya seeds terrify me.

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I literally got so freaked out by the seeds falling out that I almost cried. I think I have this:

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Have any weird phobias of your own?

Hoisin Spaghetti Squash

Inspired by a dish I saw on a fellow blogger’s WIAW post, I decided tonight I would whip up a healthy take on a typically carb-heavy meal.

I started by peeling one carrot and a little less than 1/2 a small zucchini and sautéing the veggies in sesame oil and hoisin sauce. I then added some minced garlic and got busy preparing the spaghetti squash. I take the lazy way out when I’m preparing this veggie by popping it in the microwave for about 8 minutes. Halfway through, I took 1/2 cup of frozen edamame and tossed it in the microwave with the squash. After everything was done, I tossed it together in the zucchini and carrot mixture.

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They look and taste just like real noodles! I gobbled down this in 2 seconds and felt absolutely no guilt. What a perfect way to satisfy my bad-for-you cravings! After dinner, I popped open a key lime pie Greek yogurt cup and a handful of trail mix. What a perfect (and healthy) Sunday Funday.

My Solution to Hating Store-Bought Salad Dressing

I’ve tried to like store-bought salad dressings for years now. Every once in a while, I’ll get brave and pick up a new one to try, but I almost never use it more than once. (That’s a lot of money wasted!) Anyway, yesterday I decided to try something new-ish: hummus and balsamic vinegar. Yum! After I topped my salad with this winning combination, I gobbled the thing down like it was peanut butter froyo! I liked it so much I decided to have it again today for lunch.

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Apparently I wasn’t the only one interested in this tasty and healthy meal.

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After this, I chopped up some kiwi and dumped it in my Oikos vanilla Greek yogurt.

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Do you have any favorite yogurt toppings?

Just thought I’d share my delicious discovery. Let’s hope this will help me chill out on my carb cravings! Off to watch my new favorite comedy United States of Tara. If you haven’t watched this, I highly suggest you check it out on Netflix. I absolutely LOVE T. She cracks me up.

Healthy Tip of the Day Brought to You By ZenHabits.net: If you’re just starting out with exercise, it’s best to take it slow. If you’re running or cycling, for example, build up your endurance for at least a month before you get into anything more intense. That means going at a rate where you can easily talk without being out of breath. However, once you have that base of endurance, step up the intensity to step up the effectiveness of the workout.