Sunday, January 19, 2014

Slow Cooker Breakfast Power Porridge

I am really working on making a little time for all the things I like to do, such as blogging, but especially cooking, yoga and trips to the gym (steam room!). Managing a career, family/house and extracurricular activities is tough, but I know it can be done!!

 I am also working on making sure I keep a food journal. I think it’s the one thing (totally under appreciated) that can really help with weight loss, and mine has totally slowed down (I admit…maybe even stopped... for 2 months!!). I would still like to lose another 12 lbs or so. On the days I log my food, I do really well; on the days I don’t, I slack off and end up taking in what I call maintenance calories (1600-1800). And, I know I can’t lose weight unless I keep it tight/strict (after all, I am a registered dietitian)!! I should probably report in each week, to keep me accountable. Mmm...

It all starts with breakfast right? Although, I really shoot for get around 30 grams of protein at each meal. This cereal is pretty “carby”, so I end up having a smaller portion and stirring in some protein powder and almond milk. The hubby loves it too, and that really matters! Here is my story about it:

I’ve been making this cereal for a couple weeks now, and have been trying to come up with the best way. I don’t like mushy apples in my cereal, so adding the apples in at the end is best. I also figured out that leaving them in the slow cooker overnight makes the grains too gummy and it tends to burn a bit on the edges. I think it’s pretty easy to get on while you are home on a Sunday, doing your other food prep for the week. Because we all do that right?

Slow Cooker Breakfast Power Porridge

½ cup quinoa
½ cup brown rice
½ cup oatmeal
¼ tsp.sea salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ cup dried cherries or cranberries
4 cups water
¼ cup (or equivalent )no calorie sweetener such as Stevia
1 chopped apple
Optional Toppings: chia or flaxseeds, chopped walnuts, goji berries, almonds milk or protein powder

Rinse quinoa and rice in a colander. Place in slow cooker, along with oatmeal, salt, cinnamon, cherries, water and sweetener. Set on low and cook for 3 hours. Spread apples over top and ook for another hour. Serve topped with fun toppings as desired. Makes 6, 1-cup servings.

Per cup: calories 180, fat 2 g, sat fat 0, trans fat 0g, Chol 0mg, sodium 85 mg, Carb 38g, fiber 4g, sugars 11g, protein 4g.
The first try, I included chia seeds and bran-I think these are not ideal for the slow cooker, as they gel too quickly.

All cooked up, remember not to over stir.

Ready for the week! ...sort of

Try it with almond butter and a maple syrup drizzle

Or fresh berries and chopped walnuts

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cookies and Cornbread

The upcoming new year means different things to people. To me, it means a chance to renew, refresh and revitalize! And I know just how to achieve that! Organize, clean, and cook more! Yup, losing more weight is on the list too. Working on it!

So I organized our basement freezer and found out we had lots to work with-enough food for maybe a month or two. I am a bit of a food hoarder, I confess, and the freezer clearly demonstrates this. 

On my journey to cook more, and use up our freezer reserves, I whipped up some cookies and cornbread! My mission was to use up some of the 2 bags of the masa harina ( for making tamales) and oat bran that has lingered in the freezer for a long, long time.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I asked my good friend (Google) for some suggestions, and here is what I found:

A corn bread recipe using masa harina instead of cornmeal!!

Here are the ingredients, but click on the link for the directions. I think the butter really makes the difference. Cornbread and cookie recipes must have butter (or do they?)!!

A Healthier Organic Corn Bread Recipe (I don't think it should be called organic, as none of the ingredients called for are organic!...just sayin!)

1 1/2 cup masa harina flour
1/2 cup spelt flour, or other flour of choice, (with the exception of coconut flour, it won't work in this recipe) ....I used white whole wheat
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp unrefined sea salt...I used kosher salt
1/4 cup raw honey ...I used maple syrup
1 tbsp sucanat ...or regular sugar
1 1/4 cup whole milk or coconut milk ...I used skim milk
1/4 cup grass fed butter, butter did not come from grass fed cows :(

This is how I served it up!! with pulled pork tenderloin, shredded cheese and a tiny dollop of real sour cream!

Now, earlier I said that cookie recipes must always have butter! But it just so happens that this recipe uses oil!! I always heard that oil should never be used in cookies. But it really works, and it yields a different type of cookie; a thinner cookie, with a more crisp texture. And speaking of cookies, here is the recipe that helped me use up some of my copious amounts of oat bran:

Dark Chocolate Chip Oat Bran Cookies (adapted from cdkitchen)

3/4 cup canola oil..I used avocado oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips...I only had mini chocolate chips to work with

- See more at:

I really like making other bloggers recipes! the recipes are already tested, so less chance of a mess for me!





Sunday, December 8, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jelly Swirled Protein Bread

If you are reading this post now, or have ever read any of my posts, you are probably thinking, “oh there she is!”, or “she finally got a break from the baby!”….yup, it’s been over two months..and yes, I do get a few breaks from our little critter, not too many though.

Here is an update:

1. Wyatt will be 5 months next week!!
He loves naps! and yes, he is a bit out of season!

2. I am back to work full time with some sort of workout routine (as if we expected anything other than that)

3. I am down 25 lbs. since Wyatt arrived (yep, that includes the baby; it makes me sound like a champ if I include the actual baby weight). 15 lbs to go!!

4. Herbie is being a great big brother!

5. I made baby food today for the first time using my Vitamix blender!! Finally, my mom-in-law’s investment is paying off! And I made the recipe below, in my Vitamix too!

So here I am, taking advantage of nap time, and whipping up something fun for the week. I used a recipe from the kids section of my Vitamix cookbook, as a base and added some key ingredients! Here is it, no pictures of each step this time…who has time for that!?

Peanut Butter and Jelly Swirled Protein Bread

1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup vanilla protein powder (yep, totally my idea to replace ½ the flour with this…surprised?)
1 tsp. kosher salt (love kosher salt)
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1 ½ cups milk-I used vanilla soy milk
1 egg ( added this for fluffiness)
½ cup sugar
2/3 cup natural peanut butter (increased this from ½ cup for more flavor)
½ cup your favorite jam or jelly  (why not swirl in some jammy goodness)

 Preheat oven to 350F.Combine flour, protein powder, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Place milk, egg, sugar and peanut butter in a blender; process until smooth. Stir into flour mixture, until smooth. ( I actually added the flour mixture right into my blender, but this probably won’t work with a regular blender). Coat a standard loaf pan (or a larger one works too) with cooking spray. Pour1/2 of batter into pan and add dollops of jam over surface. Use a knife to swirl jam into batter. Repeat process again.

Place on a baking sheet (in case of spillage) and bake for about 50 minutes, until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into 14 slices.

Nutrition per 1/14th recipe: 210 calories, 8g total fat, 1.5g Sat Fat, 370mg Sodium, 26g Carbs, 2g Fiber, 15g Sugar, 11g Protein, Vitamin A 2%DV, Calcium 15%, Iron 6%




Sunday, September 29, 2013

Grain-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

Call them what you want; paleo, grain free, gluten free…they are sooo good!

Grain Free Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter  (or try almond butter)
½ cup chocolate or vanilla whey protein powder

1/4 cup agave syrup
½ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients and beat with electric mixer until creamy. Drop tablespoons of dough on greased cookie sheets. Use a fork to flatten cookies. Bake for 11-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hempseed Crackers with Ginger and Rosemary

It’s been too long since my last post. Little Wyatt, or as we like to call him “Lil W”, definitely keeps us busy. We are on duty 24 hours a day. Sometimes eating leftovers over the kitchen sink is a treat, especially when tasty crackers aid in the scooping of 5 day old chili.

 Here is my first attempt at making from-scratch crackers…not bad! In fact they are gone, and just made them…30 minutes ago. They are wonderful with a glass of Argentinean wine.

By the way, I am totally obsessed with ginger and rosemary, so I had to throw some in these crackers. Sous chef Julia and I made the most incredible scones for the Market District December Newsletter. I will definitely be making these again. Lookout for it during the holidays; I will post it then.

These savory crackers are pretty amazing I must say; what could be better than fiber from the flaxseeds and protein from the hempseed, not to mention omega-3 fatty acids from both.  Also, this recipe can easily be made gluten free. Use almond flour, or Gluten free all purpose baking mix instead of the flour.

Hempseed Crackers with Ginger and Rosemary
½ cup shelled hempseeds
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
½ tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1-2 tsp. finely chopped ginger
3 egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Combine everything in a medium bowl and mix until dough forms. Place on a nonstick cooking mat and roll to 1/8 inch thick. I used a sheet or parchment paper coated with cooking spray to set over top of dough before rolling.
2. Cut into 8-10 squares or wedges. Bake for 25 minutes or until crisp and edges have browned.

3. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lemons and Castelvetrano Olives

What do you do when life gives you lemons ? Order a juicer on Amazon? (I need one too) 
Or, pair it with my new favorite food, Castelvetrano Olives.
 I first leaned about them from my foodie friend Leeann, who swore these would change my mind about olives ( I don't typically love olives, I just like them). I had them for the first time at a holiday shopping party last year, hosted by another foodie friend, Kira.
 I remember taking a small bite of the plump bright green olive. WOW, I thought! these olives are spectacular. It was a special day.
They have a mild avocado and butter flavor, and they are meaty and a bit crisp; not as briny as other olives. These olive are mostly grown in a small town (Castelvetrano) in a Sicilian provence.
They are not ripened and are cured in a mild brine that yields sweet, mildly salty, bright green olives, that I find so palatable!.

 Lemony Orzo with Tomatoes and Castelvetrano Olives

1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta
1 large tomato, chopped (about 2-3 cups) or halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup pitted Castelvetrano olives
Zest and Juice of 1-2 lemons (How much do you love lemon?)
2-3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
Cook pasta according to directions (make sure to salt water- don’t be shy); drain well and place into a medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Chill or serve warm.  Garnish with crumbled feta if you are addicted to cheese.
That’s it!

I did not forget about the lemons....Here are some other lemony applications...
Use them as a beautiful centerpiece
Make lemon water
Infuse olive oil with strips of lemon peel
Take silly photos of your baby!!!!
Zest lemon peel over treats, like these protein packed brownies.







Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mini Frittatas with Goat Cheese

You might be wondering how my weight loss journey is going…

It’s going!! I am down about 18 lbs. total (yup, that includes the baby’s weight!). I take long walks with Wyatt and Herbie; it keeps me sane! I am also going to a hip hop class with my neighbor friend Carolyn, who is also on her own journey to better health! And of course, nutrition is everything! Protein power!

I made these little frittatas over the weekend because I realize how important it is to have food prepped and ready to go. They even taste good cold, when I only have a minute (literally) between changing diapers and feeding. Best of all, they are protein packed and keep me full ( and happy!).

70 calories, 2 grams fat, 3.5 grams carb and 9.5 grams protein! Pretty nice profile right?

Mini Frittatas with Goat Cheese

Cooking Spray
¾ cup finely chopped mixed veggies such as tomatoes, spinach or scallion
12 egg whites
Salt and pepper for seasoning
3 oz. crumbled goat cheese (or Feta)


Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 6 cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Place about 2 tablespoons of the veggies into each muffin cup.

Add 2 egg whites to each. Season with salt and pepper.

Top with a few crumbles of goat cheese.

Bake for about 30 minutes until set. Internal temperature must reach 160F.

Cool on a wire rack to prevent a soggy bottom :)

Have it plain, or top it with salsa, avocado or (ketchup?).