WIAW #24: Almost Cool >.<

What the heck does the title mean? Well if it was next Wednesday it would have been What I Ate Wednesday #24 on the 24th of October in my 24th year. But I guess we can settle for WIAW #24 in my 24th year.

This WIAW comes from my day off on Friday. I whipped up some yummy things and this has been one of my second favorite days of the month. My first? From last WIAW and if you don’t know what WIAW is, check it out over at Peas and Crayons.Breakfast: Maple-Crunch “Muffin Top” + Banana. I combined the maple nut butter and cinnamon crunch “muffin top.” Minus the nut butter. Minus the cinnamon. It was so good.Snack #1: Cheddar cheese stick, almonds and pumpkin butter granola. This has to be my favorite snack, ever. Cheddar and pumpkin flavor blend nicely for some odd reason.Lunch: I have been craving a burger for the longest. Maybe because my iron has been super low? This lunch was perfect because it had iron from beef and broccoli plus broccoli has more Vitamin C when steamed (so i’ve heard). I also had Rudi’s sandwich bread to make it a “real” burger experience.Snack #2: Small Gala Apple & Pear :)Dinner: Cheddar Cheese Wrap w/ Black Beans. I haven’t had a cheddar wrap with black beans in such a long time. This is acctually the first time I eat a lot of cheddar in quite some time. I’ve been mozerella-in’ it for too long. This was just yummy, quick and simple!Dessert? One of these pumpkin butter sugar cookie “crumb cake” balls (top two cookies are a recipe coming tomorrow!). Simply divine.Herc thought it was his day off too. Go Figure!Question: Are you in pumpkin mode like I am? If so, what are your favorite pumpkin things?

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WIAW #21 “Legalizing”

Okay, the title has nothing to do with anything but since it’s my 21st What I Ate Wednesday post, I figured I cheer for being finally legal in the WIAW world. If you don’t know what WIAW is, you should definitely check it out over at Peas and Crayons!

This WIAW is all about my weekend eats; my favorites of each meal. You will notice there is no bar as a snack! Oh yeah, I am so proud of me. I am trying to clean up my diet, like I had mentioned in a previous post. I think I am doing a good job. I’ll let you be the judge of that. Enjoy!Breakfast: Honey & Nut Morning O’s with coconut milk and sliced almonds. You can find this awesome cereal at Whole Foods. Not sure if it’s completely wheat and corn free, but I don’t get any tummy ache from eating it. Snack: Banana and a Handful of Almonds. Simple and delish!Lunch: Spinach & Mozzarella Brown Rice Wrap w/ Grapes & Yogurt. I really enjoyed this quick and light lunch from my weekend work day. Snack: Apple Slices w/ Almond Butter (And String Cheese From Above). Of course I used the Vanilla Almond Butter by Justin’s. It’s just too good not to eat at all hours.Dinner: Beef Stir-Fry w/ Green Beans & Brown Rice. If I ever eat Chinese, which is rare, this is what I order. I made my own version, minus soy sauce. I just sautéed the beef in fresh garlic, pepper, olive oil and a dash of salt, then added the green beans to the mix once the meat was 95% cooked. So, good!Dessert? One of my bangin’ dark chocolate coconut almond butter cookies. I’ve almost eaten all of them already, they are too good. You really gotta try them out and possibilities are endless, in terms of toppings or batter ingredients!Question: What’s your guilty “fast food” or restuarant food pleasure?

Mines is definitely Chinese and pizza, yums.

Beef and Black Bean Stew

Today was just an awesome day of food. I started out my morning with a maple peanut butter “muffin top.” To go along with it, I some almonds and my new favorite, a honey tangerine.

For lunch I made my own version of a traditional Brazilian dish called “feijoada.” The result? A beef and black been stew. The traditional feijoada dish is somewhat of a meat stew and can have as many meats as the person desires from pork shoulder, to ham, to even bacon! It’s one of my favorite Brazilian dishes that Allan whips up.When he first made this dish for me he used shaved pork and bacon. As heavenly as it was, I am not a fan of eating too much meat or fat. I decided to make my own version of feijoada using only ground beef and black beans as the main source of protein (nutrition info below is only for stew). And of course, because I’m just awesome, I even made some to freeze and have for meals later on. Way to go me!

It may seem like a heavy meal, but it’s surprising nicely satisfying and didn’t even weigh me down. Here is the recipe for my take on the traditional feijoada dish; a beef and black bean stew. Feel free to use soy “ground meat” crumbles if you’re a vegetarian or check out this vegetable feijoada recipe here. Enjoy!

Ingredients

5 oz. of Ground Beef (I used 85% lean)

1 (15.5oz) Can of Black Beans, Drained*

1/3 Cup of Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added)*

1/2 Cup of Water*

1 Tbsp of Both Garlic Powder and Chopped Onion, Divided

2 tsps of Both Oregano and Recaíto*

1/2 tsp of Both Pepper and Adobo

1/2 Tbsp Parsley Flakes (For Garnish)

1-2 tsps of Olive Oil

5 Olives

Place olive oil and half of garlic powder and chopped onion into a large pot on a low-medium flame stove top. Let stand for 1 minute. Then place ground beef into pot and add oregano, recaíto, pepper and adobo. Cook beef until 80% done. You should still see a little pink.

Then place black beans, diced tomatoes, water, olives and remaining half of garlic and onion powder into pot and reduce to a simmer for about 20-30 minutes until ground beef is cooked and beans are tender.

Serve over brown rice or your favorite veggies and sprinkle with parsley. Even goes deliciously with some baked plantains and sugar snap peas.

Serves 4 extremely lucky people!

 Calories (Per Serving): 190  Fat: 7g  Sodium: 475mg  Fiber: 7g  Protein: 15.5g

*Feel free to use no salt added black beans if sodium is a concern. You can also add more tomatoes or your favorite veggies to the dish. You can substitute low-sodium vegetable broth for the water. Just note that it will add more sodium. If you don’t have recaíto, simply add some onions, green pepper and cilantro to get a similar effect.

Question: What’s your favorite dish that someone else whips up for you?

The Land of Catamounts

I was so excited to go to Vermont on Sunday. Allan and I went up there once to pick up some stuff from storage from when I went to college there but we didn’t do anything else besides that. Technically then, I haven’t been there since May 2010!

We woke up early to head out and enjoy the whole day there. My mom likes the clothing up there better, which means shopping time! I brought a Clif Blueberry Crisp bar and a banana for an on the go breakfast. This, the white chocolate macadamia nut and the black cherry almond are so far my only favorite Clif bars.

While on the road, I brought a long another banana and my last Babybel cheddar cheese. I took my mom to the Vermont visitor’s center just because I think it’s so cute. They have free coffee and tea and it just has such an awesome view.

It took us about four hours to get there and Allan and I took my mom to have brunch at Henry’s Diner. They have the BEST home fries ever. I got a biscuit a long with my order, which both Allan and my mom shared.

 After brunch, we stopped by Lake Champlain Chocolates. I got maple crunch and honey caramel. The maple crunch was delicious! My mom and I also tried a spiced caramel which had rum infused, but it wasn’t all the great.

What else did I get from Lake Champlain?

Pure Maple Syrup! Vermont and Canada are always competing for who has the best maple syrup.

We shopped around Church Street and then headed to the University Mall. We had coupons for JC Penny for $10.00 off a $10.00 or more purchase. I ended up getting a free sweater. See? The sweater was on sale for $10.00 and I paid $0.00… awesome!

After the mall, we headed for dinner. It was freezing outside! I forgot how cold Vermont was. We were going to go to Vermont Pub and Brewery to have the best burger ever. But because they had a private party going on, the kitchen was closed.

We ended up going to Sweetwaters instead. Every UVMer has went there except for me, so I guess it was appropriate timing.

My mom and I both got burgers. I got a basic burger and I am sure you notice there is bread? They had a gluten-free bun! I was excited to actually eat a burger with bread. It was absolutely yummy.

After dinner we went to Ben and Jerry’s. Their ice cream does have corn syrup but I figured I could sleep off the migraine. They have a new thing called a mash-up. You just mix two ice cream flavors and two toppings. Allan and I mixed vanilla fro-yo with mini m&m’s and chocolate sprinkles.

The view of Church Street at night. Pretty!

 We drove back pretty late and we went straight to sleep. This morning for breakfast, I made my mom her favorite cheddar cheese and broccoli omelette. I had a banana with a cranberry almond oatmeal breakfast square. The recipe is coming soon. This is my favorite square so far!

My mom left at around 1:00pm after we shopped around downtown Salem for a bit. I’m heading home this Thursday! I can’t believe how fast time is going. This means I better go study for my final now! Does anyone else have finals this week?

 

Blissful Saturday

Early wake up day for yesterday, so you know I had to be prepared for the day. For breakfast, I had protein pancakes pre-packed with cinnamon toasted coconut and almonds. I pretty much now have protein pancakes for Fridays and Saturdays. They help me stay awake for my early work day, since I usually have lunch late both days.

Snack was also pre-packed. I had an orange, string cheese and some Nut-thins.

Friday night I was in the mood for some chinese food. Allan needed to go to the super market, so I picked up some things to make a stir fried rice as well as a Kind bar that spotted my attention.I ended up making vegetable stir fried rice, which had egg whites, sugar snap peas, carrots, broccoli and water chestnuts.

I used a tiny bit of Kikkoman soy sauce this time. It has some wheat but no corn syrup. It was a bit better on me and unlike the corn syrup, I didn’t have a blood sugar drop or migraine. Maybe this one will be a better option. I brought the left overs for Saturday’s lunch along with a mango honey Stonyfield yogurt.

For “dessert” I had half of the Kind almonds and apricot bar that I bought. This taste like pure candy. I’m in love!

When I got home from work, I cleaned a lot. I also cooked some meals for the week and even did a workout. It was a quite productive afternoon. My post workout snack was a banana just to hold me while dinner was cooking.

I ended up making some ground meat, chopped up plantain, barley, sugar snap peas and baked fries for dinner. It had a total of about 9 grams of fiber!

For “dessert” I had made some faux “apple pie” for a few breakfasts this week. I cut them in half if I have it as a dessert. Pure bliss!

What’s your bliss?

 

The Art of Cooking

Happy Monday everyone! Well, not exactly I suppose. When I woke up this morning, Mr. Hercules was sleeping next to me. He didn’t seem happy that I wanted to get up. He looked so comfy didn’t he?

Saturday and Sunday were big cooking days for me. I love to just prepare some meals for the week on the weekend. Just makes life so much easier and can help you stay on track. Since my mom sent me so many apples the other day, I needed to make use of them. On Sunday I spent an hour preparing and cooking up some apple cinnamon protein “crepes,” which I decided to just make as skinny pancakes. I think that means the same thing though? 

I made enough skinny pancakes to have 7 batches (one was already packed) in total which means 7 breakfasts! The random pumpkin just made it look more fall-like. Did the trick didn’t it?

No, I’m not having the pancakes every day. I froze some and prepared some to have for a few days this week. See I even prepared my Monday breakfast. The pancakes plus my “baked” apple topping and some cinnamon toasted coconut. Perfect combo!

Smelled so delicious and tasted just as delicious too!

For lunch today I packed some rice, ground meat, black beans, sugar snap peas and a couple of tostones for work. This meal is a staple at my house and it’s quite yummy.

Now for the moment of truth… my dinner for tonight along with an apple and my masterpiece from Saturday!

Isn’t this the best sight ever? I made 5 pizzas for lunch or dinner and froze them up! Same toppings as last time; homemade sauce, spinach, mozzarella cheese, a few pepperoni slices and sprinkles of parmesan and basil. Delicious and my favorite kind of meal; grab and GO!

 

Saturday’s Surprise In A Box

To explain this little story, we have to go to last week! My dad took my mom apple picking for the first time at some farm in upstate New York to spend some quality time together. She said that there were tons of McIntosh apples and I was so jealous because 1. I’ve always wanted to go apple picking and 2. I love McIntosh as you all know. Give me that apple, mom!

I guess he heard me because when I got home from work on Saturday I saw a package from her. I took it up to my apartment all excited to see what goodies were in store. When I opened it up, look what was inside!

She actually sent me a whole box FULL of McIntosh apples and a few Granny Smith, which I haven’t really tried. I cannot wait to enjoy apples for I don’t know how long lol. She sent me 22 exactly, which so happens to be my favorite number. Maybe that’s a sign of good luck to come! Anyways on to breakfast, which was already packed a couple of days ago. I had my last batch of my protein pancakes which maple syrup and cinnamon toasted coconut and almonds. Still so delicious and look at that syrup oozing, yum!

Lunch at work for Saturday was the same basil parmesan pasta from the other day. But this time I had it with some bread rolls. I used a parmesan roll recipe from Self.com and used the Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten-Free All purpose baking mix. It didn’t come out so great but it wasn’t terrible. It took care of my bread craving, so that’s a good thing!

Snack was the apple from above with some Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt mixed with some cinnamon toasted almonds and coconut. I know, I know I’m obsessed what can I say?

 For dinner I had some canned beef stew since I wasn’t in the mood to cook. I don’t normally have this and would prefer homemade because of all the sodium. But today was a low sodium day so should be too bad on me. I had it with half a bag of kettle cooked chips and added some more carrots to it as well. It was a nice hearty and yummy dinner.

Dessert was an apple cinnamon oatmeal breakfast square cut in half, topped with a Tbsp of vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and cinnamon toasted almonds and coconut. This thing is so delicious and it 100% takes care of my sweet tooth!

Saturday was not a bad day and today was very productive. Overall a good relaxing and work filled weekend!

 

Cliff Bars Rock!

I guess literally because when you climb a cliff…it’s a rock! I recently went to the supermarket this week and I’ve been trying out a few of the Cliff bars lately. My absolute favorite is the Cliff Kid’s s’mores bar. It isn’t gluten-free because of the oats but since I am only sensitive it’s okay to have in moderation. I got a few mini Clif’f’s to try; the chocolate chip and chocolate brownie. I do like the Cliff Kid’s chocolate brownie, so I figure maybe i’ll like the “adult” version.

I also got a new cereal to try by Arrowhead Mills. These amaranth flakes are pretty good but are not corn free, which I realized after I opened it. This means I am going to have to have it in extreme moderation. I also got some more of the Whole Food’s french vanilla almond granola to mix with the flakes. The granola is really delicious! Oh, and can’t forget about my apple and bananas!

Breakfast today was my pumpkin spice pancakes with a drizzle of maple syrup and cinnamon toasted almonds and coconut flakes. All I can say is delicious!

It was such a nice day out but Allan was at work so I was left alone. But I did manage to study for my exam that’s this Wednesday. Sometimes all you need to do is relax! For a study break snack I had a Stonyfield french vanilla yogurt with the Cliff’s chocolate brownie bar.

The chocolate brownie “adult” version was not bad, but I prefer the Cliff Kid’s. Lunch was homemade pizza using Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free pizza crust. So, so good and way better the gluten-free Bisquick. I will definitely by this again, especially since each serving has 4 grams of fiber. It’s only $3.99 and you can make 8 mini pizzas out of it, which is what I did. My pizzas had spinach, mozzarella and parmesan cheese, tomato and basil sauce and my vice…three little pepperoni slices. Delicious!

Dinner today was an awesome meal prepared by the one and only Allan. He made sirloin steak with french fries and broccoli. It’s his way of recreating my favorite meal from Outback Steakhouse.

For dessert he got me some pumpkin pie gelato! Can we say that one more time? Pumpkin Pie Gelato! It was only 110 calories per serving and 1 gram of fiber which was nice and only had like 4 ingredients. Can’t get any better than that.

I had it with some toasted coconut and almonds and a drizzle of caramel. Pumpkin heaven!

Boo…back to work tomorrow. At least I got to be productive and relax today. Goodnight :]

Brocoli Cheeseburger?

Happy Friday my friends, well for me it’s more like a Thursday…by anywho! Breakfast today was Van’s wheat and gluten-free cinnamon french toast sticks with some toasted almonds and coconut and a drizzle of maple syrup. I cannot express how heavenly this was!

Lunch was breakfast…again. You can’t really tell but I had a egg, brocoli and cheese scramble in between Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free pizza crust. Instead of making the pizza crust into a circle, I made it into a rectangle and made sliced bread! Well, sorda I guess but it still tasted good. I’ve been in the mood for bread for like ever and I can’t find a good one without corn or wheat.

When I came home from work I had a little snack which consisted of Blue Diamond’s almond nut-thins, a light mozzarella string cheese and a McIntosh apple. I also had a couple of the Girardelli’s dark chocolate my aunt bought me from when she visted. Love it!

Dinner today was a “brocoli cheeseburger” on half of a brown rice wrap with a side of a few fries. Now what does this all mean? Well all I did was chop some broccoli into tiny pieces and mixed it into the patty. You can’t really tell though, by the picture what it is but it was delicious! I didn’t even taste the brocoli at all and it’s a perfect way to get in veggies when you don’t want to eat a whole glob of them. I know that it looks kinda funny, but trust me it was really yummy! Pictures sometimes lie you know… well just in this scenario.

Allan and I went to the mall for a bit and had some dessert. I had a McDonald’s ice cream caramel sundae with a chopped up Godiva pumpkin spice truffle that Allan got me. He had a vanilla sundae dark chocolate bar that I got him.

It was so delicious but I forgot there was corn syrup in the ice cream and caramel. I just got a little dizzy and had a huge migraine but slept it off when I went home. Damn you corn!

 

Halfway There To Bikini Land <3

Guess what? It is week 6 of DAMY’s Bikini Body! This means I’m half way through the program! I forgot to mention that a couple of days ago I put on a skirt I hadn’t worn in two weeks and it was actually pretty loose. As a reward, I got a haircut for sticking to the program. Way to go me! Do you like? It’s my shortest ever!

Breakfast today was two of my oatmeal raisin breakfast squares and a banana. I love that I can play around with this recipe and change it up according to my mood. I was in the mood for oatmeal raisin cookies, so this was the next best thing! 

For lunch I had me some quinoa mixed with black beans, ground beef, sugar snap peas and a few tostones. Hopefully I don’t get tired of this meal. I seem to be having it quite often but it’s so good that I can’t resist!

Had a little bit of Trader Joe’s 72% dark chocolate to satisfy the sweet tooth.

It’s Wednesday, so that mean it’s my funky fruit and cheese platter for dinner. I had a McIntosh apple, a light string cheese, a Babybel white cheddar cheese and a few of the Blue Diamond Almond Nut-Thins.

All were purchased a few days ago to set me up for a few weeks for school “dinner”. It’s super simple and the protein from the cheese helps me stay alert, since it’s a late class. Which by the way, when I came home I had the only sweet tooth, so I had one of my chocolate protein “dessert” cakes with a spoonful of french vanilla yogurt.

My kind of “healthy” cake and icecream!