Going Orange

After waking up, I debated starting my day with a run, since Barry and I will be indulging in some Tony Luke’s later tonight. Somehow the concept of protein pancakes popped in my head, which, apparently, to priority over running. Then I remembered the bit of pumpkin I had left over from Saturday’s Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns! Never EVER throw away left over pumpkin!!!

Pumpkin Pie Protein Pancakes

serves 1WP_004445

  • 1 scoop Vanilla protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute OR 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Whip together and cook away!

My kitchen smelled A-MAZ-ING! I topped mine with a little sugar free syrup and a sprinkle more of pumpkin pie spice and paired the plate with a mug of Butter Pecan coffee.

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So since I planned on doing a lot of work on the computer this morning and the modem died on me, my motivation to get outside kicked back in. What a beautiful day! I was surprised to walk outside to a sunny day of 57 degrees! I walked all over the city, first to ship a little something to Meaghen, then to the dollar store, and since I was out and about, over to my uncles to see how he was feeling. I took my time strolling home, and even though I didn’t do much running, I was able to get in

Barry came over after work, and after whipping him up something to eat, he laid down a bit to prepare for our night! Beauty needed a nap, too! She found comfort in my pile of laundry and could barely keep her eyes open, let alone her head up!

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Tonight was date night! Barry and I took our friends, Mike and Lauren, to the Flyers/ Ducks game for Mike’s birthday! On the way, we swung by Tony Luke’s to try to keep with tradition. While Lauren and Mike kept it simple with cheese steaks, Barry and I split the Chicken Steak Italian. I was definitely caught off guard. I was expecting a Steak-Umms-style steak, but it was way better! It was actual chicken breast, cut and laid in a roll topped with provolone and your choice of broccoli rabe or spinach. We opted for  the rabe and requested mushrooms, as well. We also ordered an order of chipotle BBQ fries, which were rather disappointing. We expected a yummy sauce, but it was actually a seasoning, similar to Old Bay.

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We rushed over the game to see the Flyers doing really well for the first 2 1/2 periods! We might actually pull through on this one! Nope! But at least Lauren and I numbed our pain with froyo and a mountain of mint chocolate chip and cookies and creme ice cream!

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Brunch and Dinssert

Kicking It With Christ:

What a nice Sunday! It began with 8am mass with my mom! Whenever we go to mass together, we are peachy for the rest of the day and we are both in great moods. My dad told her she needs to go every Sunday! Hahah

I was a bit puzzled by today’s Gospel, but Father’s homily cleared it up. It was entertaining, amusing, and kept my attention all the way through, and it really made me examine my life. I knew from the time he started I wanted to share it with you. Even if you’re not Catholic or Christian, its a universal message we can all apply to our lives.

He made me laugh as he began to discuss the criteria for a good husband, wife, sister, etc. “I can’t just say I’m a good priest because I show up to mass on time.” What’s the universal criteria that makes us do good? Father is an ex-cop and he mentioned the rewards that are offered for information about a crime. As helpful as the tips are, why should we have to pay or bribe someone to do the right thing? The Gospel, in short, was not just about doing good or the right thing. These are simple and innate obligations that Christ, as well as the community, expects from you. Christ is constantly challenging us to take it a step further. Not to remain stagnant in our lives and morals. I loved the analogy Father used… “Don’t just be please with yourself because you refrained from punching that guy in the head. Take it a step further and remove that hatred from your heart.” Not only did this make me chuckle, but it really made me think about my everyday actions, the roles of daughter, sister, nurse, friend, etc. that I play in life.

Am I really taking things a step further? Or am I simply fulfilling my obligation? 

Following mass, I talked to Father, who was an absolute outlet and source of strength during my recovery. Our conversation was followed by a proud hug and congratulations when I told him that my 1 year anniversary of beginning recovery was quickly approaching!

Great Homily, Father Hurley! And thanks for everything!

Brunch, Baby:

I have been loving brunch on the weekends I do not work. I would love to start making a tradition of it! This morning was the perfect brunch food: a frittata. I mention in my last frittata post the beauty of these things: the ability to throw anything you want in them. Like, when you have left overs, and either don’t know what to do with them or don’t have enough for another meal… throw it in a frittata!

The broccoli rabe that I used in my Sicilian-Inspired Rabe was grown by my uncle’s neighbor and was already blanched for me. I had so much left over that I could only remember how delicious the last frittata was! Oh, and then theres that eggplant from the fish wraps from the other night. I got this!!!!

Eggplant Parm Frittata

serves 8

  • 11.75 oz eggplant, 1/4 in slicedWP_004142s
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli rabe
  • 1/3 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 4 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup flax milk, or milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp fat free shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 packet Splenda
  • 2 Tbsp reduced-fat grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp dried chopped or minced garlic

Spray a skillet with non-stick cooking spray and lay the eggplant slices over high heat and brown. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F. After you flip the eggplant and both sides have been browned, transfer the slices into a sprayed 9 in x 13 in pyrex. Layer the eggplant slices along the bottom, cutting and fitting the slices to fit the bottom of the pan. Respray the skillet, and add the cooked broccoli rabe, onions, and minced garlic. Cover with a lid, and heat on low.

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In the meantime, whisk the egg, egg substitute, milk, water, crushed red pepper, Italian seasoning, and black pepper. Flip the broccoli rabe. Pour 1/4 cup of water over vegetables and cover, steaming over low heat. Measure out 1/4 cup mozzarella and finely chop, and add to the egg mix. Remove the broccoli rabe, onions, and garlic and transfer to cutting board. Roughly chop the vegetables into 1/2 in pieces or so. Add to egg bowl.

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Ensure the pyrex side are well sprayed with non-stick spray, and pour the contents of the egg bowl in the dish. Finely chop the remaining 2 Tbsp mozzarella, and sprinkle over top casserole. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.  While baking, combine the pizza sauce with Splenda.

After the 30 minutes, turn the casserole 180 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, evenly spread the frittata with the sweetened sauce, then Parmesan. Lastly, sprinkle the top with garlic spice according to your taste. (We love garlic!) Return to the oven for a final 15 minutes.

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Slice the frittata into 8 slices and serve!

Nutrition: per 1/8 of dish

Calories: 126, Fat: 1.2g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 25.9mg, Sodium: 430.5mg, Carbs: 8.6g, Fiber: 2.6g, Sugar: 4.6g, Protein: 18.3g

WP_004138Scrapple, by far, is in no way a healthy choice, even if one DOES eat the leaner cuts of beef scrapple. It is, however, a Bundo favorite! I sliced up a loaf of bacon scrapple (not impressive, by the way) for the crew, and we said Grace and dug into a delicious brunch! Argument free!

We were all stuffed until dinner! My dad raved about the frittata and couldn’t believe the creation and the taste, and how full he was even at dinner time. But I’m not surprised with almost 20g of protein per serving! Mom, dad, and I watched the Eagles/ Giants game, as we did some laundry (and blogging).

A quickie trip to the tanning salon (I have a wedding coming up and I’m a bit pastey), and I was inspired. I had “Brunch,” but pumpkin spice froyo is out… Dinner? Dessert? Dessert for dinner? Dinssert, it is!

Hey, Boo! Froyo at 5? “It’s a date!”

A quick text later, and we met up with one of my nursing school girlfriends! Yummy in our tummies! She text us awhile back asking for a froyo dinner dinner date and we had to decline since Barry and I were both working. I loved that I was able to return the favor, and that she, Aaron, and her kids could join us! My main agenda for the spur-of-the-moment dinner date was to attack the pumpkin spice soft serve! I repeated my mode of attack as I did at the Flyers game and grabbed a splash of each. And an extra splash of pumpkin. Next, come my favorite part! Topping! Mango, raspberries, strawberries, almond slices, toasted coconut, and an oreo all found their way to my bowl! Barry enjoyed his double-size PB and chocolate fix ,as usual.WP_004148WP_004149

So we had dinner. Whats next? Oh yeah! Ice cream for dessert! a scoop of Edy’s Slow Churned Salted Caramel and a decaf french vanilla coffee went down the hatch as we watch the FLyers pull out another loss. But guess what? My eating was controlled, I felt when I was full, and I felt no guilt!

I must say… good weekend!

Holiday Fiending

WP_004120The end of my shift went quickly, and I couldn’t wait to get home to get breakfast. With today being Apple Betty Day, I attempted to make a shake from this. I’ve never had it, but from what I’ve read its like a mash between bread pudding and cobbler. I looked up a recipe for Apple Brown Betty and tried something out. Ya know that I got? A belly ache. Noted!

This tummy ache was followed by giving the stinky puppy a scrub down and then a nap. Waking up, I still didn’t feel much better, unfortunately so I took it easy.

My appetite was non existent until dinner time. Dad and I had run out to the grocery sore to grab some staples and he kept tempting me with the idea of grabbing sushi. No, no… I have enough indulgent events in the next week… Well, guess how that turned out… with a full on indulgent night!

Dad found a package of Cajun seasoned flounder on Manager’s Special, and we decided that for National Taco Day, we make fish tacos. (Well, ours were more like burritos). I began with sauteing some broccoli rabe, with minced garlic, onion and thinly sliced celery. While this was cooking down, I sliced an eggplant, lengthwise, into 1/4 in slices and browned them in another skillet. Once the eggplant was cooked, I transferred it to a paper towel to rid of excess moisture, and added the seasoned flounder to the pan with the vegetables.

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I sprinkled a bit of fat free cheddar on the tortillas and warmed them in the microwave. Top the tortillas with the cooked fish, followed by the vegetables. Slice the eggplant and chop romaine lettuce to finish the wrap!  We added the Chipotle salsa, and jalapeno lime bean dip, too!

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Dad and I were feeling spicy and added chopped cherry peppers to ours! Dinner was served with a side of steamed vegetables. I seriously enjoyed this meal!

WP_004124Following dinner, mom came home with what I call Holiday Crack  …. AKA gingersnaps. There are alot of foods, such as oumpkin that also fall into the holiday crack categorie…

Immediately, I ran to the freezer and began sandwiching the Edy’s Slow Churned Pumpkin ice cream between two wafers. And so it began! The sweet tooth frenzy! I literally ate anything in front of me. Everything tasted so good! I don’t know why, but I just wanted EVERYTHING!

Mom and I headed out to Payless with our eyes on the prize. I not only had had a coupon from the mail, but a coupon that was sent to me on my birthday. Mom and I bought a total of 4 pairs of shoes and saved over 45 dollars! Thats what I’m talking about!

Making the cut was a pair of hot pink running shoes by Champion and a cute pair of Fioni bootines (I didn’t know bootine was a word,either), both of which I plan on wearing tomorrow!

First’s Together

Talk about nervous eating!

So the food news is that I think u figured out why I get hungry at night. The bad news is that I have another mystery to figure out.

A girlfriend of mine suggested that I’m hungry at night because I work shift work. Since most of my shifts are at night, it could be throwing my body’s rhythm off.

Totally valid.

But I realized last night that on the days I sleep late, I eat more. One would think I’d eat less because I’m awake less hours, right?

Any ideas?

Moving on…

Yesterday, I experienced a few firsts:

  • Seafood in breakfast
  • Tony Luke’s
  • Hockey game

I slept in yesterday until a phone call woke me around 1130 am. I was still pretty hurt by the happenings with my mom from the night before and I think I slept to cope. Barry came over after his dentist appointment and I made brunch.

WP_004092Yesterday was National Fried Scallop Day. I wasn’t about to go hog wild with scallops but I remembered I had a small convenient frozen package of small bay scallops. After browning them in a skillet, I  combined it with crumbled turkey bacon and fat free cheese to create omelets for Barry and myself, while he made us some coffee.

While eating, I took the opportunity to apologize for how hard-headed I had been the night before. I  was terrible to him. I wouldn’t look at him or talk to him. He didn’t do anything wrong, I was just too caught up in my own head. In fact, Barry, and my girlfriend for high school, Maggie, really tried to make my day special. Barry had flowers delivered to the house, pink lilies, of course, and they were beautiful. They wound up being the center-piece on the table of my birthday dinner. And Maggie surprised the heck out of me! I had no clue she was coming over! To top it off, she got us tickets to see Demi Lovato in March!

WP_004121After a few odd and ends, Barry and I drove to Philly. We had time to kill and decided to grab dinner before heading to our destination. I suggested Tony Luke’s on Oregon Ave. Neither one of us had eaten there, but its a pretty popular joint. Its got a pretty decent-sized menu for a joint of its size. A few things caught our eye on the menu, but I begged Barry to get the Italian. I forgot to tell them no cheese, but delicious nonetheless, delicious. The Italian is a pork sandwich with spinach or broccoli rabe and provolone cheese. I, of course, opted for the rabe and asked for red peppers. While we were waiting for our sandwich, I grabbed hot sauce, sliced pickles, and cherry peppers for snacking! I love peppers, if you couldn’t figure that out by how often I eat them 🙂

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One of my favorite things at Pat’s and Geno’s is putting cherry peppers on my steaks, so I was rather pleased to see that Tony Luke’s had them. I must have been pretty hungry, because I had eaten three cherry peppers, straight up. And they were good! Barry and I shared the Italian and we can not wait to go back!

With full stomachs and firey mouths from the hot sauce and peppers, we headed off to our destination: The Wells Fargo Center!

Barry is a huge Flyers fan. I, on the other hand, barely know anything about hockey, but love sports! Barry took me to my first hockey game and I had an absolute blast! I was learning the lingo, yelling at the officials, and screaming, “Knock’em out!” I had an absolutely wonderful time at the game and I can’t wait to go back! We discussed this concept of returning to the stadium and I voted that we make a tradition of it! Tony Luke’s for dinner and then the hockey game! What a great birthday present and nice way to spend our 5 month anniversary!

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WP_004097“Look! They have a Sammy stand, hun!” I turned to see a concession stand called Melissa’s Farm to Fan, offering products like trail mix, Nutrigrain bars, black bean burgers, and apples. I had never seen that before in a sports complex, but I’m glad to see that the center is offering healthier alternatives.

I thought it was really neat how the soft pretzels were shaped, too! These are one of Barry’s weaknesses. My weakness? FroYo! Yes, froyo at a hockey game! I find it funny that I am always cold, I bought a cup of coffee, and I am bundled up, chowing down on a bowl of delicious frozen yogurt! As Barry and I circled the complex, smelling the wings and hot dogs in the air, I tried to figure out if ice cream was what I wanted, or if froyo was the way to go.  After some debating, I went with the frozen yogurt, because I love topping bars!!!!  I got a small squirt of all 6 flavors (chocolate, coffee, apple sorbet, salted caramel, vanilla, and cake batter),  from Gozen Yogurt, and topped  the bowl with cookie dough pieces, strawberries, and some mint chip pieces. Oh yeah!

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While I allowed Barry about 3 bites of this bowl, I watched the couple in front of us attack this bad boy! It looked spectacular! I could not believe how huge it was, but they tore it up!

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I also came to the conclusion that Phillies and Eagle’s fans go to Pat’s and Geno’s, while Flyer’s fans head to Tony Luke’s. The line of bright orange pretty much helped me come to this conclusion.

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After the game, I came home to finalize all of my paperwork for my job interview. While I was doing so, I had some serious nervous energy and ate. But the beauty of it was that I did not freak out and I did not purge. My one focus was on nailing my interview.

Homemade Birthday

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day! I didn’t want meat included into my birthday dinner, so I began to play around with gnocchi recipes that incorporated tofu, tempeh, or seitan. I stressed about my birthday dinner for about a week prior. I knew the ingredients I wanted to use, but couldn’t decide how to utilize them… Red sauce? White sauce? Pesto? Wine?  I finally came across this recipe. It appealed to my Sicilian genes and thought it sounded delicious. I figured I could make this into a hearty meal to play with everyone’s taste buds, but I definitely want to make it with the eggplant in the future!

After looking at my other Sicilian recipes, I finally realized where I get this salty sweet tooth from! They love combining savory and sweet and this recipe does just that with the capers and raisins.

Its also a great way to kick off Italian Heritage Month!

Sicilian-Inspired Rabe and Pasta

serves 6-8

  • 1/2 lb broccoli rabeWP_004088
  • 6-8 servings pasta/ gnocchi
  • 2 Tbsp fat free ricotta
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 4 tsp minced garlic, divided
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 packet Splenda
  • 1 15 oz can no-salt-added sliced stewed tomatoes, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Brummel and Brown, or low cal, light buttery spread
  • 1 45 calorie box raisins, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers, chopped

Bring two pots filled with water to a boil. Once boiling, add broccoli rabe to one pot and pasta/gnocchi to the other. The broccoli rabe cooks for about 4 minutes. When the 4 minutes have passed, drain the broccoli rabe and set aside to cool. Cook the pasta according to standard directions.

In the meantime, drain the can of tomatoes and reserve the liquid. Combine the reserved liquid with water and wine. In a food processor, blend ricotta, basil, 2 tsp garlic, crushed red pepper, Splenda, and 1/3 cup drained tomatoes. Set aside.

In a large skillet, sprayed with non stick cooking spray, over low heat, add the onion. Toss the onion until it begins to brown. Chop the remaining stewed tomatoes. Add the remaining garlic and light buttery spread, chopped tomatoes, and chopped raisins and capers. Cover and simmer for a few minutes. Add the reserved tomato/water liquid and ricotta mix. Recover and simmer.

WP_004091Meanwhile, chop the drained and cooled broccoli rabe, and add to the skillet. Recover the skillet and simmer over low heat.

Turn off the heat, remove the lid, stir the pan, and serve over plated pasta. Top with reduced fat grated parmesean, if desired.

I served this over the gnocchi I had made last week! I really enjoyed it!

Frittata

Frittata, in the Italian households, typically refers to sliced potatoes, browned or sauteed, cooked into eggs, along with other fixens. More rescently, in the culinary world, it has a dopted an almost quiche-like conotation. Anyway, the beautiful thing about frittatas is that the possibilities are absolutely endless! You’ve heard of people making left-over pizza by taking anything in their refridgerators and dumping it onto a crust? You can essentially do the same, here! I had a bit of left over broccoli rabe and sauteed peppers, onions, and garlic from the graduation party. BINGO!

Broccoli Rabe FrittataWP_002848

serves 8

4 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute

1 egg

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup flax milk, or other low fat milk

2 cups broccoli rabe, cooked and prepared

2 cups sauteed peppers, onions, and garlic

1/2 cup fat free shredded mozzarella

1 tsp Italian seasoning

black pepper, to taste

2 Tbsp reduced fat grated parmesean cheese, more for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a skillet with a non stick cooking spray and place the prepared  sauteed peppers, onions, and garlic in it to cook away as much remaining oil, on medium heat, stirring frequently, about 7 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside. Repeat with the prepared broccoli rabe. In a large bowl, whisk water, egg, egg substitute, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Chop the cooled peppers, onions, and broccoli rabe and whisk into the egg mix. Further chop the mozzarella into smaller pieces and whisk into egg mix.

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Spray an 9×15 pyrex with non stick spray. Pour the egg mix into the pyrex, continuing to whisk the mixture in the bowl as you pour. Sprinkle the top with the grated parmesean and bake for 30 minutes uncovered. Turn the pyrex 180 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes, until fully cooked.  Let rest for 5 minutes, cut and serve. Garnish with additional grated parmesean.

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I debated adding sausage to the mix to really make this pop, but instead, I made turkey sausage patties for those who wanted sausage and served it on the side. I topped mine with hot sauce!

Each slice (1/8 recipe):?????????????????????????????????????? WP_002852

Calories: 162

Total fat: 5.4g

Sat. Fat: 0.8g

Cholesterol: 27mg

Sodium: 488 mg

Carbs: 10g

Fiber: 2.4g

Sugar: 0g

Protein: 19.7g

It  was a hit among the family, especially my mom. I’ve never seen my mom so excited about a food. She scarfed it! “I could eat this twice a week!” It must have been good! If thats what it takes to get my mom to eat healthily, frittatas may be popping up alot more on the blog!