Weekend Eats

I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and a bit of a head cold. My meals always get a little thrown off when I’m feeling under the weather, so I thought it would be more fun to show you what my meals looked like on Sunday.

Because I was awake before my roommates, I decided not to wake up the entire house with my jet-engine-esque blender, and opted for yogurt, blueberries, and half a grapefruit. Sunday mornings also include a cup or two of coffee!

After breakfast, I got my workout in at Gym Quest, in their adult tumbling class. It’s so much fun flipping around, and I’m always sore the next day. You’re never too old for gymnastics, right?

When I got home, I was ready for lunch, so I whipped up a Greek Salad that hit the spot.

I’m clearly still obsessed with feta. This salad was delicious, but since it’s so low in calories, I was still kind of hungry. For “dessert” I had a tablespoon of peanut butter. Hey, when you know what you want, you might as well eat it.

I snacked around during the afternoon. A handful of cereal, the other half of the grapefruit from breakfast. You know how it goes.

Dinner was the White Pizza Scramble I posted on Monday.

I also had one two glasses of wine, and a bowl of Special K Cinnamon Pecan cereal before going to bed.

Overall, I tried to mix up my meals a little for a little more fat and protein, and a little less carbs. There might have been some confusion on Monday’s post… I’m not cutting back on calories what-so-ever. I’m just mixing things up a bit since I’ve been in a bit of a rut! I still had plenty of fruit and cereal, but I definitely noticed I felt more full and satisfied when my meals contained a good mix of protein and fat.

What are you eating today?

White “Pizza” Scramble

This recipe has a long back story. I’m going to give you an abridged version, in case your attention span is as short as mine.

Since I’ve been tracking my food, I noticed I eat a lot of carbs. Like a lot. Most of them are good-for-you-carbs. And some of them are wine. I have no idea how many carbs one “should” consume… but lets just say the little pie chart at the bottom of the page is always a lot of carbs. And a little fat. And some protein.

Hm. Could this be why I’m seemingly always hungry?

I have no idea. But being the detective I am, I might start testing the theory, and trying to incorporate a little more protein and fat and a little less carbs. Nothing crazy, just a few tweaks here and there.

Now this is where things get interesting. It’s actually really difficult to find low carb vegetarian recipes. I don’t know why. Surely I’m not the only vegetarian who wants to reform from their carbaholism. Interesting.

I did however, stumble across a few “cauliflower pizza crust” recipes. In my opinion, cauliflower is like the tofu of vegetables. It’s boring. But it does take on flavors of other things pretty well. So I was willing to try it. Skip to about 2 hours later, I had a crust that absolutely would not budge from the olive-oil-sprayed-cookie sheet. It definitely wasn’t a crust that would hold pizza toppings. It was way too crumbly. But I’d already invested some cauliflower into this, and I’d already caramelized the onions. I wasn’t going back. It turns out the cauliflower tasted amazing, it just wouldn’t hold a crust shape. But I’m not one for appearances. Taste is really what matters. So I turned it into a scramble. It has all the flavors of a white pizza, but it’s tons healthier. And it’s a “low carb vegetarian” recipe. Or low-er carb. Whatever.

White Pizza Scramble

  • 2 cups finely chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 head)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

In a food processor (or blender) chop the cauliflower into rice-sized pieces. Mix with egg, greek yogurt, and spices. Dump into a shallow baking dish and bake it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. While that’s cooking, slice your onion, and saute it in olive oil over medium heat until it begins to brown (about 8 minutes). Take the cauliflower mixture out of the oven and stir in the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and onions and bake in the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until it starts to brown just slightly. Scoop and serve!

It literally tastes like a white pizza, and the cauliflower helps bulk up the meal without a lot of extra calories.

I’m pretty sure I’ll have to test this with other flavors. I’m thinking a tomato basil would be pretty amazing. Perhaps some Feta in there? This could be the beginning a beautiful thing.

Does anyone have some low(er) carb vegetarian recipes? Please send me a link if you do!

[Vegetarian] Split Pea Soup

There were a few reasons why I had to make this soup.

1. Most versions I’ve seen have ham in them.

2. It’s (eventually) going to get cold around here, and I need lots of soup options.

3. This soup is so easy to make, and I can almost guarantee that you have everything in you fridge to make this.

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup dried split peas
  • salt & pepper
  • 6 drops liquid smoke (optional)

I started by cooking the onions and garlic until the onions started getting soft and translucent. Then I added in the vegetable stock, water, carrots and split peas. If you want to add salt (depending on the broth you use, you may or may not want it) wait until the end, because it slows down the cooking process for the peas. If you have liquid smoke, adding a few drops give it an amazing dimension of flavor. But if you don’t, it’ll still be delicious! Let simmer for 30 minutes or until the peas are soft.

If you want more “authentic” split pea soup, you can use a hand blender (or a regular blender) and pulse for a few seconds. It’s good both ways. Trust me, I tried.

Split peas are also a great source of fiber and protein! I buy them in the bulk bins, so they’re also cheap. What more could you ask for?

If you like this soup, definitely check out this garlic lentil soup which has a similar flavor.

I had this for dinner last night, and it’s coming with me to work today for lunch! I’m hoping the protein and fiber will power me through my last long run before the half marathon. I’ve got 11 miles planned for this evening. Gotta get it out of the way before the weekend shenanigans!

What’s your favorite kind of soup?

Food Journaling Part 4

I’m into the 4th week of the Get Well Challenge, and food journaling has started to become a habit. It helps that I have the Livestrong app on my phone so I can pretty much do it from anywhere. I’ve also been into a pretty decent routine lately, so that’s helped as well!

Here’s what I’ve been eating…

Breakfast

Standard smoothie, eaten with some Honey Roasted Peanut Butter. <<–Click for the Recipe

Banana Smoothie with Honey Roasted Peanut Butter

Total: 325 calories, 25g protein, 5g fiber

Lunch

My brother and I had a lunch date at Chipotle which I love. My bowl is relatively low in calories but keeps me full through the afternoon. I filled it with lettuce, black beans, vegetables, corn salsa, tomato salsa, and guacamole.

That whole bowl came at less than 400 calories, and I had a few handfuls of my brother’s chips for another 150 calories.

Total: 527 calories, 16g protein, 22g fiber

Afternoon snack

I love crunchy snacks, so I had some sugar snap peas with a handful of roasted soybeans while finishing up at work. Soybeans pack in lots of protein for less calories than other nuts. I love the salty crunch! When I got home, I also grabbed a handful of crackers.

Peas Crackers and Soybeans

Total: 255 calories, 15g protein, 12g fiber

Workout

I was feeling really unmotivated. I just didn’t feel like running. Luckily, Brittany texted me and asked if I wanted to go for a run, so that was the perfect way to get myself out the door! We knocked out about 3 miles and ran at a pretty good pace so I was happy about that!

Total calories burned: ~300 calories

Dinner

Today was such a perfect fall day, I knew I needed to make a pot of vegetarian chili. I hadn’t made it in months and this is one of my favorite dinners when the weather gets cold! It’s also great leftovers to pack for lunch. I used a version of this recipe and recycled the picture. So no cornbread was served on the side, although that would have been quite delicious.

Total: 480 calories, 16g protein, 14g fiber

I absolutely love this dinner and I’ll probably start making it at least once a week. It’s so simple, so cheap, and so healthy! It doesn’t get any better than that. Oh and it’s vegan and gluten free, in case you’re into that.

Also, thats 72g of protein for the day… in case you’re counting. Take that “vegetarians-don’t-get-enough-protein” people.

What’s your favorite dinner to make when it starts getting cold outside?

Apple Cranberry Quinoa Salad

I’m just not good with directions.

I really don’t know how this happened. This can be a bit of a disaster when I’m driving somewhere. I have a 2 U-turn minimum. It can be frustrating for those in the car. I’ve just come to accept it as a fact of life. Besides, it’s about the journey, not the destination, right? Right.

Besides, sometimes when you don’t follow directions, you end up somewhere even better than you intended.

At least, that’s what I told Sophia, who organized a little potluck dinner with some girl friends. Technically I was supposed to bring some kind of apple-artichoke salad. Which would have been great, except that I couldn’t find any artichokes. And I live so close to the Carytown Farmer’s Market, I figured I should probably go pick up some produce… and then it only made sense to make a recipe using all that fresh, local, in season produce.

Apple Cranberry Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups butternut squash (about 1/2 medium sized squash)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 medium apple
  • 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegarette (see note)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Note: I used the Wholesome Goodness Balsamic Vinegarette which is delicious! If they don’t sell that in your area, feel free to use any type of Balsamic dressing. I recommend using one that is a little bit sweet.

Start by rinsing and draining your quinoa. Then bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa and boil for about 15 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed. While that’s boiling, peel and dice your squash into 1 inch cubes. Spread onto a greased baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 35 minutes, at 350 degrees. Let the quinoa cool and add in cranberries. These will absorb the last bit of moisture. Then add the almonds. Once the squash is soft, let cool, and stir into the quinoa mixture. Shortly before serving, dice your apple and toss it in. (You can do it ahead of time but it’ll get a little brown.) Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette, sprinkle with brown sugar and serve!

It’s actually amazing the variety of foods we had using apples!

I’ll definitely have to post the recipe for that apple salad in the top left.  So delicious & healthy! The apple & pumpkin muffins were amazing as well.

I still have some produce from the Farmer’s Market and I bought some more quinoa, lentils, and split peas at Ellwood Thompson, so I’m going to try to think of some things to do with those… ideas? I really want to try a vegetarian split pea soup recipe, since all the ones I’ve seen so far contain ham. We shall see.

What’s your favorite apple dish?

Healthy Snacks Under 200 Calories

At the Get Well Challenge goal setting session, one of our trainers, Julie, talked to us about the importance of eating balanced snacks, to help keep our blood sugar levels stable. Instead of eating an apple and some grapes, she recommended we try combining a fruit with a protein. I’d honestly never really thought about that. I’ve started having an apple with a piece of string cheese in the afternoon, and the combination of sugar and protein really does keep me energized, and I’m usually able to go for a run after work, without feeling tired.

I started trying a few other combinations of snacks that pack a little protein but are still relatively low in calories, so I thought I’d share some of these ideas!

Healthy Snack Ideas

From top to bottom:

  • Apple + greek yogurt (fruit + protein!)
  • Carrots + almonds (lots of crunch, for less calories than lots almonds!)
  • Tomatos + hummus (this super hummus is made with edamame for more protein)
  • Kashi crackers + laughing cow cheese (tastes indulgent, but is still low in calories and fat)
  • Hazelnut butter + banana (real hazelnut butter, move over Nutella)
  • Grapefruit + snack bar (I love the kids kind, smaller but still satisfying)

I’m also trying to snack more in the afternoon, when I’m actually hungry, than at night, when I’m just bored. I’m a big night time snacker. Does anyone have tips for curbing snack cravings in the evening?

I’m snacking a little extra today since I’ve got a 10 mile run on the agenda! I’ve never pushed into double digits so wish me luck!

What are some of your favorite snack ideas?

Food Journaling Part 3

Another week of food journaling, and I finally have a few new things to share. I made a conscious effort to break out of my routine a bit, so hopefully it’ll keep things interesting.

In case you’re new to the blog I don’t normally do a lot of “calorie counting” posts, but food journaling is part of the Get Well Challenge, and since I’m adding it up anyway, I thought it would be fun to share!

I’m really guilty of the eat-it-everyday-until-I’m-sick-of-it thing, so in order to attempt to prevent that, I mixed in some old favorites with my eats today.

Breakfast

Instead of my usual smoothie, I whipped up this super easy breakfast:

6oz plain chobani, 1/2 scoop about time whey protein powder, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 piece of Ezekiel cinnamon raisin bread. I also had an apple later in the morning.

Total: 380 calories, 35g protein, 10g fiber

Lunch:

Trader Joe’s Black Bean and Corn enchilada (these are vegan and gluten free!) plus an unpictured string cheese.

Total: 310 calories, 14g protein, 4g fiber

Afternoon snack:

Sabra hummus + pretzels Total: 260 calories, 3g fiber 6g protein. No picture, sadly. But these things are delicious.

Dinner:

As soon as I got home from work, I sprinted out the door for a quick run. When I got back I munched on a few cherry tomatoes while I waited for Brett and Lindsay to come over, so we could cook up a feast.

I skipped a tortilla and loaded my plate up with peppers, onion, and black beans. I topped off with some salsa, and eaten with a few several handfuls of chips on the side. After dinner, Lindsay and I took a walk around Carytown and inevitably ended at Sweet Frog. I went with a cake batter + cookies and cream swirl, topped with fruit and granola. It’s truly the best.

Total: 620 calories, 16g protein, 14g fiber.

Workout

I ran a 3 mile loop near by, and stopped at the gym during the halfway point to do some upper body. Nothing too exciting, but I managed to squeeze some physical activity in the day! I think I probably burned around 350 calories.

Total calories for the day: 1,580 calories, 72g protein. 32g fiber. Who says vegetarians don’t get enough protein? ;)

What’s your favorite easy-to-pack lunch?

New Things: Running, Snacks, & Yoga

This weekend was full of some new-to-me things, and I’ve got a lot to report:

Friday, I ran 9 miles, which was the farthest I’d ever run. I’m right on track for my half marathon training, so it was a great feeling to be able to do that!

Does anyone have some good running playlist songs? I posted my current playlist here but I’m always looking for something new!

Saturday, I tried a new snack which I’m pretty sure will become a staple in my snack rotation.

Lindsay and I tried both of these on Saturday night, and we actually couldn’t pick which one we liked better. They’re only 100 calories per bag, and both tasted delicious. (If you’re like me, and you’re obsessed with Tostitos Chips with Lime… the Lime + Salt popcorn is an awesomely healthy alternative!) Popcorn is also a great snack to keep around the house since you can’t just “grab a handful” here and there. No mindless snacking here!

Sunday, I went to my first hot yoga class, at Hot House Yoga. As part of the Wellness Challenge, Hot House Yoga has given us some free classes, so I figured it was about time I checked it out!

If you’ve never done hot yoga, it’s done in a room between 105-110 degrees, at about 40-50% humidity. Basically, it felt like summer in Richmond. I did really like the class though. I’ve never been a huge fan of yoga (I tend to like more circuit training type classes) but it was nice to do something different than my usual workout, and I will definitely be going back!

What are some new things you’ve tried lately?

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

My food cravings are actually kind of annoying. I get super obsessed with something and I eat it every single day until I stop craving it. Remember kale? Yeah. I literally ate it every day for a month. Now I haven’t touched it for over a week. Weird.

I’m still in my feta stage, but I think my new craving is on the horizon. And it’s lentils.

It’s not like I haven’t always loved them, but I’ve found myself craving them lately. So brace yourself for some lentil madness.

Why you should eat lentils:

  • They’re high in protein
  • They’re a great source of fiber
  • They pack in iron and other minerals
  • They’re cheap and taste awesome

The thing was, I bought a bunch of peppers this week because they were so pretty on sale. So I needed to use those up, but I wasn’t sure how to make it work with lentils. I love stuffed peppers, so I figured it was worth a try.

I played around with the flavors a lot, but I was happy with where this ended up!

Lentil Stuffed Peppers

Serves 2

  • 2 bell pepper
  • 1 cup cooked lentils (1/2 cup dried)
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp of garlic powder
  • sprinkle salt & pepper

How to cook lentils: 1 part lentils, 2 parts water. Boil for 30ish minutes or until soft. You can do that part ahead of time, if needed.

Once you’ve got cooked lentils to work with, this recipe is super simple! Saute your onions in a pan over medium heat until soft. I just sprayed the pan with a little olive oil- you won’t need much. While that’s cooling, slice the top off the bell pepper, and clean out the seeds inside. In a bowl, toss the lentils, onions, tomatoes, cheese and spices together until mixed. Scoop it into the pepper, and pop it into the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the pepper gets soft. Tip: Stick the peppers in a muffin tin, so they don’t tip over on a baking sheet. 

Ahh, dinner. And a deliciously filling one!

I threw this dinner together pretty quickly, because Conor and I were going to the Richmond Comedy Coalition, which was featuring some “special guests” from the Tumblr office here. It was hilarious.

The improv team was great, and the Tumblr people gave them some funny material to work with. They do these shows every month, with different “Richmond Famous” guests, so I’m definitely planning on going again!

What are you craving these days?

Healthy Eating in the Big City

Sticking to healthy on vacation isn’t easy, and it’s especially tricky when you’re really trying to not be “that person” who won’t do anything fun because they’re “watching what they’re eating”.

I’m not going to add up all the calories and stuff, since I’m showing you some random meals from different days. I did try to sneak in healthy food while tasting my way through the city. Please note that fro yo, wine, and macaroni and cheese were all consumed on this trip, but those pictures weren’t anything special!

So this is the What I Ate Wednesday: New York Edition

Favorite Breakfast

I got to meet Meredith from Dare You To (how gorgeous is she?!) and we took a trip to the Chobani store. It was amazing! I had a bowl of greek goodness topped with pistachios, chocolate, orange, and agave. It was super creamy and delicious. It was so much fun chatting with Meredith about blogging, food, and life in general! Why have I never put pistachios in my yogurt? New thing to try.

Favorite Lunch

We stopped by the Smorgasburg festival in Brooklyn and I tried everything. From second row: Soy Hound Soymilk, McClures Spicy Pickles, and some kind of coffee infused chocolate which was amazing. For my actual lunch, I got some of  this quinoa falafel, which was absolutely amazing. I have to try making falafel with quinoa…

Favorite Dinner

We went to a little cafe called Once Upon a Tart and it was so adorable. I had a tomato and mozzarella sandwich, served with a lentil and feta salad. I forgot how much I love lentils! And obviously I’m still obsessed with feta. I need to recreate this salad.

And just to prove that I did take pictures of people… here are some favorites from the trip!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?