Roasted Vegetables: Crock Pot Recipe #7

Wednesday:

I went to class this morning and while waiting, enjoyed a Muller Mousse Parfait. A girl I’m in clinical with loves these, so I gave it a try.

WP_001225I tried the peach passion fruit, figuring if I was going to try something, I might as well try the most exotic sounding. I topped it with both ground flax and chia, and it was delicious and filling! I only have one complaint: way too much sugar! Seriously, it had a whole days worth of sugar in it!

After this cardiac cram session, I hit the gym. I had a full workout planned but as I was doing it, I realized I was not going to be able to complete it, if I needed to get some sleep for night shift. I only worked out for an hour or so. I was so bummed when that I had to leave. Have you ever been so into your routine, you just didn’t want to stop. Seriously, even the shuffle on my iPod just kept giving me great songs to power up to!

I hit the sheets when I got home, unfortunately  only getting about 2 hours of sleep for my 12 hour shift. I made something that was LONG overdue: a shake. Iv’e been checking up on this blog I found and she made a shake that sounded delicious, so I gave it a go. The following was whipped up:

handful of kaleWP_001227

handful of frozen, pitted dark cherries

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla PDM

half a frozen banana

1 Tbsp sugar free cheesecake pudding mix

and lots of ice!

Pretty darn tasty… Actually, dad asked me to make him one for Thursday morning!

WP_001228Thursday:

Over the course of the long night, I did some pretty wise snacking choices, suck as graham crackers, sugar free pudding, and 94% fat free popcorn. I have to same, though, my favorite meal of the night, was the Raisin and Spice Oatmeal. I stirred in a little PB, and mmmmmm good!WP_001231

After I got home, I started preparing the crock pot. Tonight’s recipe is in preparation for tomorrow’s dinner (I can’t wait!)

Once all the ingredients were in the crock, I sat down to finish some homework and enjoyed a nice bowl of Banana Nut and Peanut Butter Cheerios, a cup of Pumpkin Spice coffee with some sugar free french vanilla powdered creamer and a few dark chocolate covered espresso beans to keep me going for the day!

Katie loves crock pots too and I remembered a while back she posted about roasting vegetables in a crock pot. Being the sucker for veggies that I am, I starting thinking up ways to use these veggies. Over rice? with sausage? In a pita? The possibilities are endless! Needless to say, I hit up the discount produce shelf…

Roasted Crock Pot Veggies

2 bell pepper (I like using colors)WP_001233

3 cloves garlic, slivered

half an onion, sliced in rings

a few baby portabellos

1 large carrot stick, sliced into very thin coins

handful of sun-dried tomatoes, sliced thin

1 small eggplant, sliced to 1/4 in thick

spices, to taste

Prepare all the vegetables, adding or subtracting vegetable that you enjoy, and toss them in the crock pot. Season, cover, and cook.

The original recipe calls for oil, but instead, I just gave the top of the veggies a quick spray with some non-stick pray and few shot a liquid aminos. I couldn’t find my Italian seasoning in the cupboard, so I used some granulated garlic, black pepper, parsley, oregano, and basil, and gave it all a nice toss.

WP_001235Cover the pot and look on low, stirring occasionally.

During class, I was starting to sense some hunger creeping up on me. I looked around the room, and wouldn’t you know like four people were chopping on protein bars! AHHHH! I knew this would be tough!

When I got home from class, the house smelled like a warm garden… fresh veggies in the air! I hustled into the kitchen to give them a stir and a try. I was so happy with how they turned out! The carrots were just the right consistency  the onions became translucent  the peppers and mushrooms cooked down, the tomatoes got soft and sweet, the eggplant absorbing all the flavors…

I had some leftover turkey sausage to I put a little in a tortilla with some veggies and I was in heaven! This most definitely will be a meal another night.WP_001237

As for tonight’s dinner, I was jonesing for a Wendy’s Jr. Hamburger, and mom was really eyeing up the chili. My creation was a chili dipped burger! YUM! I snacked on some mixed fruit for dessert!

Over all, the last 24 hours was pretty decent with food… only a few minor binges.

After meeting up with Mike to finish our assignment, I tried to squeeze in a workout before being detained in nursing labs for 3 hours. I was able to squeeze in the following workout, based off of Julie’s Beat Boredom Interval Workout:

Weights:

Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 set 53 lbs
Tricep Extensions 15reps 4 sets 20 lbs
Sitting Crunches 15reps 4 sets 53 lbs

Elliptical:

0-10 min 11 resistance
10-1230 13
1230-15 14
15-20 11

Repeat Weights

Treadmill:

1-5 minutes 4.2 speed 8 incline
5-630 7 1
630-8 5 1
8-10 4.2 1

Now, I ready to crash, wake up refreshed, workout, watch some lectures, and cook you all a wonderful Friday Lenten dinner!Even though, I was totally sleep deprived, I did not want to leave. These last two days I’ve really been in the workout zone!

Antioxidants

You know I never let anything go to waste. I had blanched a pear in some lemon juice and frozen it a while back. I woke up really wanting to use this pear in a shake this morning. I had seen a couple shake recipes using pears so I played of of those to make this mornings shake:

1/2 frozen pearWP_001074

1/4 to 1/2 frozen banana slices

2 -3 tsp cashew butter

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

1/2 pkt Fruitein Rainbow Shake mix*

1 cup Bai5 Brasilia Blueberry

handful of kale

1/4 tsp xanthum

ice

I wanted something filling, with some natural sugars to keep me powered through this study day. This shake is like an antioxidant heaven!

Studying ensued for the rest of the day. I realized I needed my first study break after a period of delirium when I began baby talking to Beauty… a quick little circuit should do the trick.

Back to studying until hunger kicked in… As I grabbed some Wasa, nutella, and Planters Berry PB, mom went and got Arby’s for dinner (Yay, coupons!). French dip with a bit of horsey sauce! Yum!

I also had an Orange Cranberry Gnu bar, which did a great job holding me over for a while! (look for the Gnu review, coming soon!)

Studying for the rest of the night! Wish me luck tomorrow!

* I found Fruitein at the co-op and wanted to give it a try. The Rainbow flavor caught my eye as a power house of health! It has over 115 Whole Food Concentrates. I mean, the ingredients list blows my mind: white fig, carrot, pomegranate, yellow pepper, pineapple, garlic, spirulina… and things I’ve never heard of: noni? mangosteen? wolfberry? The shake is vegetarian and gluten free.

Upside Down Kinda Day

Last night’s dinner was super filling! 

I woke up this morning determined to start this funky-scheduled day with some pep. When I start my day with exercise, I always feel invincible for the rest of the day. 

I began with cleaning out the fireplace and bringing in some fire wood from the 20 degree F porch to warm up the house. Once I got my pyro-fix, I started Julie’s Super Sweaty Ab Workout (one of my favorites)! Mountain Climbers kick my butt every time!

Once I completed this, I whipped out the magic bullet. I really wanted to use my homemade cashew butter today so I looked to my fellow nut butter lover, Julie, for some inspiration. The following found its way into my tummy:

half of a frozen banana

1 tbsp cashew butter

Strawberry Dannon Light and Fit yogurt

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix

1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Formula 1

15g (1/4 to 1/3 cup) kale, chopped 

1/4 tsp xanthum

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After enjoying majority of this smoothie bowl and some serious brain freeze, I needed to knock out a lecture before class today. This bowl was so filling, I did not even think of food till close to 1600.

The reason I call this an “upside down kinda day” is because I work night shift tonight. Its different when you work 11pm to 7am consistently because your body adapts to that schedule, but when you work it every now and then, you just need to suck it up, sleep when you can, and power through. It also messes up my eating… like when do I sleep? What’s breakfast? Whens dinner? I feel like on days like this I eat alot of snacks, and not so much meals…

I was greeted by this view as I walked out of class:

SNOW!

SNOW!

And this pretty site on my way home:

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

My neighborhood is so pretty when it snows!

After I got home from a really informative lab, I had a big bowl of fruit, from The Fresh Market, and topped it with some low fat cottage cheese! YUM!

While I am at work tonight, I will working on some reading for school, and of course, working on tomorrow’s post.

Lights Out

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toasty…

Since yesterday was an early day, I feel asleep super early! But, of course, my phone started ringing at 2000. I tried to ignore it, but it just kept ringing. Then, as I hung up with the person on the other line, the power goes out. We made it through Hurricane Sandy with only a few flickering lights, but for some reason, the power lines couldn’t stand up to the cold. My mom went into manic-mode, lighting candles and such. Me? My phone was charged and the alarm was set. I curled up next to the fire place for some warmth, and relaxed. But unfortunately, I could not fall back asleep, especially with mom calling the power company, on speaker phone, every 25 minutes! So I whipped out my phone and started working on some posts for you all!

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Apparently power outages have
no effect on this Sleeping Beauty…

The power came back on around 0130. Just in time for me to watch a great movie, called Canvas! I finally fell back asleep around 0300, I would say. Apparently, the universe prefers me sleep deprived…

On another subject, I found this link last night after I mysteriously developed an overwhelming appetite. The article discusses seeing food as “good” or “bad.” I began to feel really guilty about not working out, yesterday. I felt even worse after eating so much later in the night. A few sentences really stood out to me so I thought I’d highlight them for the overly anxious, bingers and  health seekers, like me.

the quality and the balance of what you eat may play a bigger role in weight control and the regulation of your metabolism than the calories alone.

A study found that a daily variance of as much as 600 calories won’t reflect on your waistline, as long as you maintain a healthy diet in the long run.

                Researchers believe that little to no weight gain occurs because healthy individuals usually “undereat” one day and “overeat” on another. So in the end, it all evens out. As long as you’re eating healthy most of the time, having an occasional treat won’t wreck your diet.

I need to remember that although I’ve been rather over indulgent this week, I can even it out. I can’t stress or crawl in my corner.

Now lets get into the goods. Good as in tasty, that is…

I planned this breakfast a few days ago while making the Walnana Muffin Cookies. I decided to use Katie’s melted banana trick in my oatmeal. I was surprised when my mom ask me to make her one too! I was really impressed with how it turned out! If I wasn’t so full from this stick-to-your-ribs breakfast, I would have eaten another bowl! Yeah, its that good!

Walnana (Banana Bread) OatmealImage
serves 2

1 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup Flax Milk (or milk of your choice)
1 1/2 to 2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bananas
1 Tbsp Artisana Walnut Butter
1/2 tsp Splenda brown sugar, or 1 tsp brown sugar

Combine oats through cinnamon in a pot, stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring often. After 15 minutes, cut bananas in half, place in a bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Pour the fruit into the simmering oats, add the walnut butter. Stir really well ensuring the butter is fully dissolved. Sprinkle the brown sugar over top. Give it a quick stir and serve. Each bowl gets a heaping cupful!

ImageNutrition Facts, per serving:
Calories: 303
Fat: 8.7g
Sat. Fat: 1.1g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 21.4mg
Carbs: 52.9g
Fiber: 7.5g
Sugar: 14.2g
Protein: 7.4g

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melted banana

Melting the bananas really brings out their natural sugars and allows the fruit to really distribute evenly throughout the oatmeal; and adding the walnut butter while it was cooking, gave the oats a smoother texture. I topped mine with some chopped walnuts to add a crunch. I was going for a banana bread feel, but the milk added a creaminess that made it a bit of banana creme pie-like. Wow this was good!
Speaking of pie. Today is National Pie Day! Being the nerd that I am, I usually celebrate Pie Day on March 14th. Get it? 3.14?
I thought about it… Pizza pie or fruit pie? But banana creme pie-ish oatmeal counts, right? Sure, why not? I won’t tell if you don’t.

I enjoyed the oatmeal with a mug of some new herbal tea I picked up at the co-op, yesterday.

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While I waited for my oatmeal to fluff up and cook, I tried my hand at some homemade cashew Imagebutter. I used about 1/2 lb raw cashews, and soaked them in water over night. I was surprised by how much water the nuts soaked up.

I drained the cashews and popped them in the Magic Bullet. Every so often I removed the whipped cashews and gave the whole nuts a shake. As the butter accumulated I removed it from the bullet. Never having had store-bought cashew butter, I wasn’t really sure how it was supposed to taste. I will say, I loved the smooth consistency  I also sprinkled a little less than 1/4 tsp of salt into the mix.

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Dinner tonight was the Lean Cuisine I’ve been putting off eating! I added some of the baby carrots, as planned, to the broccoli,a sprinkled some black pepper. The meal was pretty decent. Theres a lot of the gravy and I wasn’t quite filled enough. If I get it again, I’m going to need more veggies. The flavor was good and the steak tender, but lacking in mushrooms. This frozen meal has a lot of potential.

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I snacked on some graham crackers and PB, the best hospital snack ever! And tapped into the homemade chips and salsa one of the nurse’s brought in. I love fresh, homemade salsa!

Even though the oatmeal was pretty darn spectacular, the highlight of my day was booking my flight to San Jose, for my trip in April! Every year I try to attend the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society International Convention. I’ve been blessed with being able to afford Seattle, two years ago, and Nashville, last April. I’m glad I have some time to save up some dinero for the trip!

Going Bananas with Snow Mieser

Early bird catches the worm? More like, early bird requires an afternoon nap. When I left the house this  morning, it was 19 degrees F outside and there was a coating of snow! BRRRRR! Glad I brought some hot tea with me. My mom was so sweet! She got up before me and started my car so it would be warmed up for me! Thanks, mom! Mr. SnowMieser needs to take a chill pill.

Mondays and Tuesdays are tricky for me. I have to be at my clinical site by 0645 and I’m there until about 1330. We get  a lunch break, but until then, theres not much time to eat. These are the days I tend to bring my bars, so I can snag a bite on a “bathroom break.” I also tend to bake bite size/ snack size muffins and things that I can nibble on throughout my morning.
Thats what I did today. Yesterday, I took advantage of my new Walnut butter and adapted a recipe from Julie and made these babies:

ImageOatmeal Banana Nut Butter Cookies! Julie’s recipe used PB, but I wanted to incorporate my new nut butter! And, duh, banana and walnut? Wal-nana! Always a winning combo!
Since Walnuts, and Walnut butter aren’t super flavorful like peanut butter, I did a 1:1 mix and voila!

Oatmeal Walnana Muffin Cookies
makes about 4 dozen

2 ripe bananas, mashedImage

2 Tbsp plus 2 tsp creamy peanut butter

2 Tbsp plus 2tsp Artisana Walnut Butter
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup Splenda brown sugar
3 Tbsp liquid egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray or use a mini muffin tin.
Mix bananas, nut butters, apple sauce and Splenda together. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the oat mixture into the banana mixture until everything is combined. Place spoonfuls of dough on the cookie sheet or into the tins and bake for approximately 10 – 12 minutes.
ImageNutrition for 48 cookies: 1 cookie:
Calories: 43
Fat: 1.3g
Sat. Fat: 0.1g
Cholesterol: 5.2mg
Sodium: 55.2mg
Carbs: 6g
Fiber: 0.6g
Sugar: 1.4g
Protein: 1.1g
This batch gave me around 52 pop-ables. This recipe also gave me the opportunity to use my new cookie scoop that I got myself for Christmas, too! I get excited over the weirdest things, don’t I? haha
They turned out better than I expected! The banana flavor shown brightly and the nut butters were complimentary, not overbearing, as some nut butters can be! I can’t wait to try other nut butters! But, oh man, were they good!I got out of clinical early today and decided to bring dad some lunch at work. I stopped by ImageClaymont Steak Shoppe (known for their cheesesteaks) and picked him up some lunch! This thing was huge! I dressed it Philly style: fried onions, mushrooms, and wiz. For lunch, I packed Banana Chobani flip and Multigrain PB Cheerios and Chocolate Fiber One 80.
What can I say? “So nice, I ate it twice!” But don’t get me wrong, I definitely helped dad finish that steak. 😉
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And to add to out filling lunch: Chia Seed Cookies!
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These cookies were like sugar cookies that melted in your mouth! I love Newark Natural Foods (the “co-op” as we call it)! I always get amazing baked goods from them!
I also picked up a new addition to the Bundo Nut Butter Family:
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When I got home, I welcomed the almond butter by spreading it on one of the walnana nuggets! MMM!
While we are on the subject of bananas, still, have you ever had Larabar’s Banana Bread? You know I have a freakish obsession for bars, so I’ve decided to start a bars files on the page reviewing some bars.
The Banana Bread wasn’t what I expected. I has an almost burnt taste? Yeah, I guess thats the word…
What I like about Larabars, is what I like to call “pure.” There is nothing artificial in the bars and most of them are quite delicious! As for the Banana Bread, I’ll pass. The Bananas Foster Uber Bar is a little better and a lot nuttier. Its difficult to include banana into bars, unless its baked in. A lot of bars containing banana, use banana chips, which, in my opinion, take away some of that natural sweetness that attracts me to the fruit. I’ll keep on trying banana bars, but as of now, they’re not my first choice.
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I’m super stoked to try Thursday’s crock pot meal! Dad and I grabbed the last of the ingredients today! I stopped by the co-op in Newark to pick up some garam masala and Good Karma Flax  Milk.
Lots of studying to do tonight. With all this work in my life, I’m going to go bananas!

Panera Made a Liar Out of Me

I finally got my lazy dazy butt to do something: Julie’s Sweaty Abs Circuit (one of my favorites!)

Last night was my first night back with patient care. It was like I never left. I felt on top! I even had a nurse ask my opinion on one my patients!

Work has been hosting seminars for the past week, catered by Panera. My manager brought back some salad, wheat baguette, and some sandwiches. I made a small salad and a small piece of bread. I was full. I snacked on my baby carrots a bit later and left the Lean Cuisine in the freezer…

One of the nurses brought this baggie in… Mint Chip Brownie Cookies… ADDICTING! Kudos to Nurse Kathleen.

I was proud of myself that I did not indulge in them! I treated myself and went on with my night.
When I got home, I snacked on various food items, PB and cottage cheese are always key players. I laid in bed thinking though… “I wasn’t hungry. Why did I do that?” Thank goodness I did not go to town like I used to in the past!

I’ve noticed that each day, I’m getting better with my eating habits and food choices. I think a lot of it has to do with this blog. MyFitnessPal helps me keep track about what I eat, but writing about it allows my to have fun with my food and not obsess about.

A big thank you for reading the blog and helping to keep me healthy and sane. I hope the blog is able to help you like it is helping me. My hopes for this blog are to share healthy recipes, exercises and experiences with each other to broaden our horizons, connect, live well and happily together!

This morning I woke up determined to start today on the right foot. I stripped my bed and threw the sheets in the wash, prepared the tonight’s crock pot dinner (recipe to follow), did a quick 30 min Hip Hop Abs workout, made myself a smoothie bowl and peach berry green tea, and got down to business (lectures and what not).

Nutella, for some reason has been on my mind lately. I never liked Nutella when I was a kid but when I saw in the ads that it was on sale for $1.99, I decided to give it a second chance. Since I enjoy PB in my shakes I decided to try Nutella today. I went with the obvious combo, banana and Nutella, and I have to say, this is one of the most delicious shakes I’ve had in a while!
I combined the following into the MagicBullet to create this green bowl of gobbity-goop:

1 scoop Metabolife Chocolate
1 scoop Herbalife Vanilla Protein Drink Mix
1/2 tsp ground flax
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
a handful of kale
1/2 frozen banana
2 tsp Nutella

 

MMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Delicious!!!!

Off to learn!