Easter Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend.

Let me tell you there is nothing like a good cup of iced coffee to start your Saturday morning.Or getting a million Quest peanut butter cups from your co-worker because she’s grateful for all your help. Thanks lady, glad I could be of assistance!Or coming home and making a mean Angus burger and veggies.My brother and I made our own little Easter tradition this year; we went to Wholefoods, and split half of a garlic and herb chicken! For the sides I had brown rice, couscous, spinach, green beans and some almonds. So, so delicious!Of course some snickerdoodle latte froyo happened. Yes, I said that and it was the best froyo flavor I ever tasted in my life, hands down!My friend even made me an Easter plate to take home. Seriously she is awesome and it also came with some sugar and gluten-free chocolate cake balls which I devoured. No shame!And to end the weekend, I had a mini late night gym sesh. There was NO ONE THERE at 1:00am (I’m not surprised), but I had a good little total body workout. I’m back to being sick. This weather change has given me another cold. Yuck.

I hope everyone enjoys their Monday and the rest of your week! Question: What did YOU do this weekend?

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?

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!


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!