OIKOS Smoothies Morning

I was sent a recipe for a South Beach Mango Lassi a week or so ago, and with my recent obsession with Indian food, I was more then apt to try it.  Lassies are a traditional yogurt-based drink that you will find on any Indian restaurant menu.

I whipped out a plain OIKOS and told Frank I was making a smoothie, to which he replied, “Will you make me one, too? I just bought yogurt.”

I typically like to add a scoop of protein to my smoothies for staying power, but since I’m out of vanilla, I had to stick with the God gave me.

Frank has been wanting me to make him a Key Lime shake for a while, now and since he had OIKOS Key Lime Greek yogurt, thats what I whipped up. (By the way, if you’ve never had Greek yogurt, this is the stuff to suck you in!)

Key Lime Smoothie/Shake1 5.3oz OIKOS Key Lime Greek yogurt

1 tsp sugar free lime jello mix

ice

1/3 cup milk

water

protein, optional

Combine and blend!

Mango Lassi Smoothie3/4 cup frozen mango

1 5.3oz plain OIKOS Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp granulated Splenda

ice

water

pinch of cardamom

Blend away!

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I planned on taking a walk to the supermarket to pick up some ingredients for some recipes, but as I currently type this post on the pouch, thunder and rain has set in. Change of plans, I guess.

Warning: Gross Alert! 

Before the wind picked up and retiring from the porch, I was typing away, when out of the corner of my eye pounces Bunny. In mid-air, this crazy cat caught a bird! Are you kidding me?

I couldn’t believe it! I was stunned and mortified, and disgusted, and for some awful reason, I could not look away! I called Barry and told him what happened. Only one word found its way out of my mouth, “Ewwwwww.”

“Can you say anything else?” he asked. “Ehhhhhhhhhh.”

I was disturbed. The image is scared in my head as Bunny chomped away at the poor birdie.

Later today…

It really came down today, so I went to the store to pick up the last few things I needed for this weeks recipes! Something was on my mind today, I don’t know exactly what, put something we definitely there. To keep myself busy, I decided to, can you guess, did a little cooking. Stay Tuned!

WP_003251Barry came over after work and I left terrible that I didn’t go to his place tonight. Barry leaves this weekend for army duty and he and I both work this week, so our time is pretty limited together. I was in a funk, with a knotted stomach, and a little dizzy.

After Barry headed home, mom and I ran to Wawa to grab a little gingie (ginger ale), and i finally found it! Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper! I finally got my fix. Knowing I needed something in my tummy, mom and I split a can of Campbell’s Chunky Split Pea & Ham soup.

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With a little salt and pepper, this stuff was delicious! It was probably the best canned split pea I’ve ever had. There were big chunks of potato and carrots, and ham! Not little pieces of ham… big chunks of ham! And it was filling!

Back on Track

My last post was a bit all over the place. It was very manic-depressive. I’m sorry about that… like I said, “PMS… What a bitch!” Darn mood swings…

Set backs happen. How will I deal with it?

Listening to my body cues

“Theres scrapple in the fridge,” dad said to me as he left for work. I spent the night at dad house, last night, to complete our awesome DDDD (Daddy-Daughter Date Day). I wasn’t sure if I was hungry this morning, so I made a big cup of coffee to see if I was actually hungry or just thirsty. My large mug did a great job of curbing my appetite! I enjoyed the french vanilla coffee, while catching up on Spice Goddess. I love that show! Bal is really pleasant and bubbly and passionate about her native spices and traditions! Plus, I’ve really been interested in Indian cooking techniques, foods, and spices, and found a few things she made that I can’t wait to try my hands at!

Resuming my normal meals

Following the show and ignoring my inner scrapple-lover, I headed back to my mom’s house, where I enjoyed a refreshing Banana Cream Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt Blend, sprinkled with 1/2 tsp Chocolate PB2, and about 6 broken fat free pretzel sticks. I enjoyed the sweet and salty crunch that my PMS craves, and loved that it was filling and healthy.

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For a mid-day snack, a 90 calorie Fiber One Lemon bar did the trick, as did a mug of peppermint tea.

WP_003195Today it National Hot Dog Day! I’m a little excited about this because I’ve really been wanting hot dogs and baked beans! Ironically, I had planned on taking this as a meal to work tomorrow night, but no sense in denying this “holiday”! I pulled out a Hebrew National 97% fat free frank and a small can of fat free baked beans and ate mine in a bowl topped with chopped onion.

WP_003202Frank wanted it sandwich-style.

Go to Zumba

Following dinner, I had a bit of unsweetened applesauce and met my girlfriend, Maggie, at Zumba. I did not attend Zumba at all last week, and it makes me feel lost. I need it in my life. I also enjoy leading Zumba, as I did a few dances tonight. I love to look at their faces and I love knowing that my enthusiasm can power them through a workout, too!

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It was one humid hour, tonight! The AC is broke! We were drenched in sweat after the first dance. We looked like steamed lobsters by the end of the class. But, boy, were we feeling great!

Surround myself with positivety

Why else is today special? Not just because its National Hot Dog Day… Not just because its National Vanilla Ice Cream Day…. But because its Frank’s 56th Birthday! Before I left for Zumba, I whipped up a cake mug for him! Yay, Hungry-girl, for teaching me about cake mugs! I made a Raspberry Chocolate Chip Cake mug (recipe below).

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Zumba releases endorphins, which makes me happy. As does being with my friends. After sweating it out, I met Barry to do a little grocery shopping for the house, took a shower, and am currently in the midst of attempting some sleep. Surround yourself with positive people, places, events, and you’ll be positive too! Things just start to fall into place.

I typically do not eat after Zumba, but PMS was rearing its head. The entire trip to ShopRite I was thinking about peanut M&Ms. I resisted. We swung by 7 Eleven on the way home to down another bottle of water and while I was there, a light bulb went off! Special K Chocolatey Pretzel cereal bar! 90 calories, salty, sweet, crunchy…. Perfect!

Raspberry Chip Cake Mug

3 Tbsp yellow moist cake mix

1 Tbsp liquid egg substitute

1 1/2 Tbsp water

1/2 Tbsp Nestle mini semi-sweet morsels, or semi-sweet morsels, chopped

5 raspberries, sliced in half

2 Tbsp fat free Cool Whip, thawed

1/2 tsp sugar free, fat free Chocolate pudding mix

Combine everything except cool whip and pudding mix, and mix well. Spray mug or ramekin with nonstick cooking spray and pour cake mix in. Microwave for 1 minute and 15 seconds, or so*. Allow mug to cool, as it will be hot! Meanwhile, combine cool whip and pudding mix. Spread over cooled cake mug and enjoy!

*Microwaving chocolate chips is tricky business, as they tend to burn.

Calories: 179,  Fat: 3.1g, Sat. Fat: 1.9g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 270mg, Carbs: 35.2g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar: 18.9g, Protein: 3g

Idea: White Chocolate Chips, instead!

Happy Birthday, Frank!

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Fiber, Ice Cream, and Indian

Today was my first day of patient care at my new clinical site. Without revealing too much, I can say that two of my three  patients kept me on my toes as soon as I got onto the unit with abnormal breathing and chest pain! But no worries! They are feeling much better!

This is a much different setting than a hospital, but I like that I get to really know my patients since I get to be with the same three patients for the next three weeks.

Since I have trouble eating super early in the morning, I took a 10 minute break around 1045 and indulged in a cup of coffee and a Vanilla Blueberry Luna Fiber Bar. Let me tell ya, as long as these are around, Nutri-Grain will never get business from me. They remind me of a Nutri-Grain bar, since its baked and fruit filled, but less calories and less sugar. The Luna Fiber bars come in three flavors, all phenom: Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter Strawberry, and Vanilla Blueberry. The only down side is that I can only find these in a few stores, so when I get to those stores, I really stock up!

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Mom asked me to swing by Walgreens on the way home and I really wanted a cookie. As i wandered the store, something caught my eye.

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I ate half for an afternoon pick-me-up. Gooey caramel, chocolate, ice cream! I just wish there were more cookie crunches.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon watching lectures and working on paperwork for school. Using all that brain power builds up an appetite. Not really in the mood for any meat, I took out an Amy’s Light and Lean meal: Mattar Paneer. You know I’ve really been on an Indian food kick and this was yummy! It was perfectly seasoned and oh so savory and filling! I loved the flavoring of the peas, paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and lentils mixed with the rice.  This picture just does not do it justice. (Actually, my pictures look pretty terrible.) But if you like a dish full of savory flavor, this is where its at!

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The remainder of the night, I’m in study mode for the exam on Thursday.

By the way, today is the Day of the Mushroom. You could totally utilize those bad boys and make yesterday’s dish!

Chicken Garam Masala: Crock Pot Recipe #5

Listen up, Butter Lovers!

First things, first: Happy National Peanut Butter Day! What a marvelously delicious way to start your day… with Peanut Butter!

Since its a bit out of the way, Mom and I decided that it would be a good day to visit some of the natural food stores around here so I could finish picking up a few things to include in Meaghan’s care package back to New York.
I can’t tell you what’s it there just yet. I can’t ruin the surprise for her… But as soon as she gets it, you’ll get it.

some Wholefoods sweet treats

some Wholefoods sweet treats

One of my favorite things about Wholefoods is the bakery. By now, you all know I have a serious baked goods problem… As in, I can’t get enough of them. Whenever I visit a Wholefoods, I always hit up the bakery. Since I don’t have any vegan products at home, I especially enjoy getting the vegan cookies and muffins. Today, was no different. I celebrated National Peanut Butter Day by enjoying a peanut butter sandwich cookie! My mom went a little crazy at the dessert counter, though. But it made for a great treat after tonight’s crock pot dinner.

mmmmmmm

mmmmmmm

I love PB!

I love PB!

Wholefoods Bakery <3

Wholefoods Bakery ❤

We also stopped by The Fresh Market. You know how at the supermarket, theres a bit or organic, gluten-free, etc items thrown in the mix? Well, thats the way The Fresh Market is, but inverse. My favorite part of this place is the trail mix bar! They have this White Chocolate Crunch mix that Meaghan got me hooked on and its ADDICTING!

Trail Mix!!

Trail Mix!!

They are also known for there many flavors of coffees. Did I mention theres an old fashioned candy bar?

Candy!!

Candy!!

Coffee!

Coffee!

We also picked up this amazingly yummy fruit salad, that I enjoyed with some cottage cheese.

so fresh!

so fresh!

And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… Tonight’s Crock Pot Dinner!!
Tonight’s dinner is a recipe Julie used for her part of the Crock Pot Challenge: Chicken Garam Masala. The recipe calls for chicken thighs, of which I did not have in the freezer. To take its place, I used some drumsticks. I removed its skins and figured since it still had a bone, like the thighs, it would make do.
I think I’d like to try this with chicken breast, as well; and maybe enjoy it with some naan. I’m a huge fan of chickpeas, so when I came across this recipe, I was more than excited to to give it a shot. Plus, I’ve never had cooked garbanzo beans and have recently found a little fascination with Indian cuisine after a date I went on.

If you didn’t know, garam masala is a typical Indian spice that,in Hindu, translates to “hot spices.” Its a blend of spices including, cardamom, cumin, cloves, black and white pepper, and cinnamon. So without further ado… Ladies and gentlemen…Chicken Garam Masala!!!

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Serves 4

4 chicken thighs (or drumsticks), skinless
2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes

2 1/2 tsp garam masala

fresh cilantro, or 1 to 1 1/2 tsp dried cilantro

Dollop non fat Greek yogurt or sour cream, garnish (optional)

Combined everything, except the cilantro and sour cream, in the crock pot and give it a  toss. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. After plating, garnish with cilantro (and greek yogurt or sour cream).

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I was shocked by how much each portion received  It makes about 5 cups of of the chickpea mixture. This was a really filling recipe and the chicken was fall-off-the-bone moist! I think it was definitely lacking something… maybe a bit more garam masala? red pepper flakes? If you play around with this recipe, fill us in on the comments portion, below.

Nutrition Facts, per 1 heaping cup of chicken mixture:

Calories: 238     Fat: 2.9g     Sat Fat: 0g     Cholesterol: 0mg     Sodium: 840.3mg     Carbs: 48.1g     Fiber: 15.6g     Sugars: 8.4g     Protein: 12.4g      (A 4oz skinless chicken drumstick is around 130 cal with 13g protein

Wow! 15.6g fiber, 25g protein?! No wonder I’m so full!

While we are discussing chickpeas… Did you know there are bars made from these beans? I came across this while visiting Meaghan in New York. The bars are called “The Good Bean.” They’re marked as “Fruit and No-Nut” bars. The first bar I tried was Chocolate Berry, followed by Trail Mix, then Apricot Coconut. I enjoyed how different they were from other bars. Not crispy or crunchy, but not soft like a Larabar. I did not care for the Apricot Coconut. It did not have any defining flavors, nor any sweetness as you would expect. The Trail mix bar contains dried cranberries for tartness and pumpkin seeds for a bite. Its held together with brown rice syrup, which gives a little sweetness. The Chocolate Berry has a combinations of dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries, and sweet chocolate. It made me feel like I was getting a little treat without the bad fats and sugars ans uber chocolatey-ness. I enjoy them as a nice change of pace, especially since I can’t find them except for in WholeFoods.

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

right next to the Kind bars! one stop shopping!

Hope you all had a wonderful day! Heres a recipe that combines two stars of today: Roasted Peanut Butter Chickpeas!