PB&J

Happy Sunday dear bloggies!

I’ve never been a fan of the acclaimed peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yes, I am American, just not a PB&J sandwhich fan. That is not to say that I’ve kicked the can on all peanut butter + jelly + carb combos. Throw out the bread slices, add some oatmeal and I’m down for plenty of PB&J’s. Take for example this morning’s breakfast: peanut butter and jelly boatmeal. I’d been wanting to try baked oatmeal ever since Katie posted about it.

So I mixed together:

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 t peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 t raspberry jam
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
  • a sprinkle of salt

Then poured the mix into 2 small greased ramekins (not sure if the greasing part was necessary) and baked at 375 for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes I sprinkled on some sucanat and broiled the tops for 2-3 minutes. Breakfast was served.

Love the crisp carmel-y top

A strawberry on top for aesthetic reasons (would have been better if the jam was strawberry)

PB&J, yay or nay?

Favorite oatmeal mix-in?

Thanksgiving Festivities

I hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful thanksgiving! I did but, sadly, I did not take one picture the entire day. Beginning Wednesday, my mom, dad, 2 sisters, brother and I were all together at home. All of us being so scattered apart because of various education and work, this has become quite the rarity.

Wednesday night we enjoyed a nice family dinner

to which I contributed a spinach salad.

Featuring goat cheese, (I find it doesn’t bother me the way other dairy does) a white balsamic, olive oil and honey dressing, and of course pomegranate arils.

Saturday we all headed out the door around 7:15 to do a 5 mile Turkey Trot with, ya-know, over 17,000 other people. There were so many people there! It’s great to get out and get some exercise before being sedentary and eating too much; guess we’re not the only people who think that. We then spent the rest of the day with lots of family and watched A&M beat UT! Whoop!

All in all, a great thanksgiving; so much to be thankful for!

How was your thanksgiving?

Do you eat turkey on thanksgiving? If so, do you do it because you like it or because it’s tradition.

My family decided that next year we are NOT having turkey or the traditional thanksgiving fare since, while we enjoyed it yesterday, there are other foods we like much better.

Enjoy your Friday!

~Ann Claire

Magnificant Muffins

I hope everyone is having a great week. Can you believe thanksgiving is in 3 days? Time goes by so fast. And then it’s practically Christmas break which I cannot wait for!! In approximately 29 days I”ll be hittin’ the slopes in Colorado. So excited! Of course before that there’re yucky yucky midterms. But, enough with the yucky stuff, let’s talk about yummy stuff such as the amazing muffins I made over the weekend.

My mom was reading this book….

and there was a muffin recipe in the back of it. My mom told me about it so I took a look and the muffins sounded so good (and healthy too!). As soon as I could get my hands on the ingredients, I made up a batch of what the book calls “Dakota’s Oatmeal, Blueberry and Orange Muffins.”

Oh my goodness, they are so good! These are seriously some of the best muffins I have ever eaten (healthy or not). The texture is outstanding and the flavor superb. If you make no other recipe I post, make these muffins!

Dakota’s Blueberry Orange Muffins (with my variations)

1 cup plain rolled oats

1 cup white whole wheat (regular whole-wheat works too)

1 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda, and salt

1 1/2 cups flaked unsweetened coconut

Grated zest of one large orange

1 egg

1/3 cup honey (if you like things really sweet add closer to 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon vinegar

Juice of 1 orange, add water to make one cup liquid

1-1 1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preheat  oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with paper cups. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Add coconut and orange rind. Get a separate bowl and beat the egg. Add the honey, oil, vinegar, juice and water to the egg. Combine the wet ingredeints with the dry ingredients until just moist. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter among muffin cups (you’ll have to fill the cups pretty full to use all the batter, but they don’t rise that much). Bake for 20-25 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from pan and let cool on wire rack! Enjoy! Makes 12 muffins.

 Favorite flavor of muffin?

Food for Warmth

Hello There!

First off, I want to thank you all for your super sweet comments on my last post. I love hearing your thoughts about why you eat healthy. Not a single one if you liked the idea of eating nothing but Twinkies (Suprise, suprise).

Any who, today I have been cold, cold, cold all day. No idea why as it’s not particularly cold outside. But, for some reason I’ve been very cold. And we all know that when cold, there is nothing better than warm food. This afternoon I enjoyed a nice mug of hot chocolate while doing some reading for school.

I make hot chocolate by mixing 1 part chocolate Silk almond milk with 1 part unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze (the chocolate silk is good on its own but way too strong and sweet for me).

A short while later I was craving some warm food. A creamy chowder sounded delightful. Of course, a trip to the grocery store was not in order, so I decided to go with what I had on hand. There was a large ham in my fridge and about 8 cans of corn in my pantry, both ingredients that I thought I could work with. And so I began….

First I sautéed some onions in olive oil and then added some  whole-wheat flour and almond milk to make a roux. Shortly later ham cubes, corn, some seasonings and more almond milk was added.

I then discovered some broccoli in my freezer so naturally that made an appearance in my soup.

A bit more simmering and it was time for dinner.

Creamless Creamy Corn Chowder

1/2 T olive oil

1/4 of an onion chopped

1 large clove garlic chopped

3 T whole wheat flour

1 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 can yellow corn

1/2 cup cubed ham

1/2-1 cup Brocoli*

1 t Herbes De Province

Chipotle Tabasco ( I used about 1/2 teaspoon)

Salt and Pepper to taste

*If broccoli is frozen, place in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cook in microwave for one minute before adding to soup.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When onion is softened add flour and drizzle in 3/4 cups almond milk. Let simmer 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy! Yield: serves 2-3

And a note to all your vegans, the ham really isn’t necessary. I would have been perfectly happy with just the corn and brocoli.

Served via a large coffee mug, because I”m convinced food taste better when eaten out of a mug.

 

I love cooking like this: I decide I want to make something and just do it. No planning, no recipes, no trip to the grocery store.

What is your favorite cold weather food?

Have a wonderful week!

-Ann Claire

 

Nutritious or Nothing

Hello Friends!

I was listening to the radio a few days ago and they were discussing a guy who ate only Twinkies and lost weight. He did it to prove that weight loss it about counting calories and it doesn’t matter what you eat. While yes, in order to lose weight, one must consume fewer calories than they burn, I believe that, in order to truly be healthy, it is important for one to consider what they are putting into their body. While he may lose weight eating the Twinkies, I question whether he is truly any healthier. Besides, who would want to eat only Twinkies? Gross!

So, I just wanted to share with you an essay I wrote for school regarding my diet and why I eat the way I do. It had to start with give me (blank) or give me (blank) as we were learning about Patrick Henry and his famous, “Give me Liberty, or give me Death.”

Nutritious or Nothing

 by Ann Claire

Give me nutrients or give me hunger. If given a choice, I’d rather starve than eat the artificially processed rubbish that many companies market as food. I choose to eat healthfully because wholesome food helps me to feel optimal, to be fueled, and to stay fit. The number one reason I choose to eat the way I do is because I feel most excellent physically and mentally when I eat well. Only when I eat a diet consisting of numerous vegetables and fruits, plenty of nuts, grains, and legumes and a bit of meat protein, do I feel my best. Too much sweetener and chemicals leave me feeling sluggish and lethargic. Fresh food helps keep my body and mind aware and responsive. Furthermore, eating nutritiously helps  fuel me for the numerous other activities in which I participate. When I consume nutritious food, I am much more focused and, consequently, perform better in academics, athletics, and other extracurricular activities. I would even go so far as to say that eating well helps me spiritually. Eating fresh wholesome foods makes me appreciative of the beautiful plants God has provided for us, and I feel so well when I eat natural food that it makes me thankful for the body God has given me and the many things it is capable of doing. Additionally, consuming nutritious food helps me to stay fit. While our bodies are only with us for a short time, in the grand scheme of things, I truly believe it is a sin to not take superb care of the body God has given to each of us. Nutrient rich food allows my body to be strong and capable of performing any task set before me. Healthy eating helps me to live a long, rewarding life. On the whole, eating wholesome and natural food helps me to feel my best, to be prepared for all other activities, and to take good care of my body.

What motivates you to eat the way you do?

What do you think of the Twinkie diet guy?