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breakfast & lunch

Wow!  I have been slacking on blogging this week!  Really, it’s because I have been so busy and tired with other things, that the blog had to take a backseat.  So, I thought I’d show you what I have been munching on for breakfast and lunch the past few days.  (Dinner’s have been a little sub-par, mostly because i’m just plain tired when I get home!)

Since I am pregnant, I am making more of an effort to make my meals well balanced and contain ample protein, fat, nutrients, amongst other things.  It is really important to get the baby the nutrients it needs, and I want to do my part to get those to him or her. 🙂

When I am deciding on what to have for breakfast or lunch, the first thing that goes through my head now is whether or not it has enough protein.  I have been adding protein powder to my smoothies to give them an extra boost and have just been more conscious about my protein intake overall.

For breakfast, I have been alternating between my usual oatmeal and smoothies.  Some days I crave something warm, while others I want something cold and refreshing!

Yesterday, I started the day with steaming steel-cut oats!

I added a lot to the mix, so I kept the toppings simple.

In the mix:

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup homemade applesauce
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Topped with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter and Crofter’s Raspberry Jam (my favorite combination!) and a sprinkle of shredded coconut for looks. 🙂

It was delicious, as usual, and contained ample protein, fat and carbs for my morning meal.

This morning, I started with a smoothie and toast.

Two slices of Cinnamon Date Manna Bread with a smear of butter.

And, a Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie!

  • 1 cup hemp milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tbsp unsalted peanut butter
  • 4 tbsp chocolate hemp protein powder
  • 2 tbsp flaxseeds

It filled me up, and contained the nutrients this baby needs!

I have been trying to get a little creative with lunches, since lately lunch seems to be the meal where I most want to eat!  By dinner, I am never really hungry…

Yesterday, I mixed up some leftover cooked sweet potato orzo, arugula, a fresh tomato and cheddar cheese.  Heated for about 1 minute in the microwave to take the chill off.

YUM!

With, 3/4 cup plain yogurt and frozen (defrosted) fruit.

It was a super yummy meal!

Today, I made up a pita sandwich with hummus, avocado and spinach.

With cheddar cracker from one lucky duck and an apple.

Perfect!

To me, my breakfast and lunch seem to be well rounded, which makes me feel better and happier in general.

I have been snacking on lots greek yogurt.  I can’t get enough!

Hopefully, I can keep this up!

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snack-a-thon

Yesterday morning was another day for oats!  I kept these more simple, still cooked in the rice cooker, because I wanted to add a few fun toppings.

Into the rice cooker went the following:

  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 chopped banana
  • 1/2 diced apple
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1 cup of water

They came out as creamy as ever!  I topped this bowl with peanut butter, rolled dates and a shake of cinnamon.

This breakfast didn’t hold me over as well as it usually does.  Maybe because of my morning run?

I feel like I snacked throughout the day on small-ish, but delicious, meals.

First up, vanilla yogurt with cinnamon and granola and a pear.

It was a crazy day at work, so the next thing I knew, it was 4 o’clock and I had missed lunch and my afternoon snack!

So, I ran out to pick up some soup – Broccoli Cheddar with a Baguette from Panera Bread.

This soup is really good, but very rich!  I need to try to make a batch at home for the winter.

Once home for dinner, I had a small serving of leftover pasta from Tuesday night.  I just wasn’t very hungry due to the late soup!

Still delicious after reheating!

After dinner, I whipped up some Super Charge Me cookies.  My sweet tooth was calling.  Served warm with milk. 🙂

These cookies are a great treat filled with healthy ingredients including, rolled oats, almond butter, raisins, spelt flour, shredded coconut, etc.

I have a yummy dinner planned for tonight. 🙂

it feels like fall!

Fall is easily my favorite season.  The crisp, cool air makes me want to be outside!  It reminds me of apple picking, pumpkins, falling leaves, running, big sweaters, oatmeal and cinnamon.  It is not too hot or too cold.  It’s perfect!

This morning was perfect running weather.  I was a little chilly when I started out in my capris and long sleeved shirt, but I quickly warmed up and found my rhythm.  Once home, my condo was filled with the aroma of my fall inspired oats!

Mmmmm….

Last night, I prepped my rice cooker by adding the following:

  • 1/4 steel cut oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 apple, diced
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • shake of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped raisins

It smelled amazing and tasted even better!

Topped with coconut butter and chopped pecans.

It was a perfect fall breakfast.

For lunch, I packed a random grouping of things…that actually made a healthy lunch!  (It tasted good too.)

Tuna fish (made with greek yogurt, honey + dijon mustard, celery seeds), eggplant bacon, tabouli and blue corn chips.

The eggplant bacon and corn chips made excellent scoopers!

Snacks today included grapes, a banana and a larabar – love this flavor!

When dinner time came around, I was more than ready to make a home cooked meal!  It has been weeks since I have made something other than panini’s, pasta, oatmeal, frozen burritos and other simple meals.

Tonight, I brought up my favorite website, 101cookbooks.com, and searched for butternut squash recipes.  I came up with something that sounded great and was very quick to make.

Almost Cheeseless Pasta Casserole (see recipe and instructions here)

I only made a few substitutions: added a mix of kale and spinach, added 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese, omitted olives.  Everything else turned out wonderfully!

I chopped up my CSA butternut squash.

Made the yogurt sauce.

And, oiled and zested the baking dish while my pasta cooked.

I used a pasta that we brought back from Seattle.  It is a mix of spinach, carrot and beet pasta!  And, added a lot of flavor to the dish.

Once the pasta is cooked, I mixed it with the veggies and mixed it into the yogurt sauce, then spread the mixture into the baking dish.

Topped with feta and almonds, I baked it for 25 minutes, as the recipe stated.

It came out bubbling hot and smelly great!

This was a great recipe.  The whole thing, including cooking, took less than 45 minutes.  And, it makes enough servings to last for a few meals.

Another perfect fall meal for the day. 🙂

Have a great one!

back to reality

Whether or not we like it, or plan it, vacation often takes a toll on us!  We walked a lot while in Seattle, but we also ate a lot!

We did a lot of good eating.  Everything is just so fresh and local out west.  It’s hard not to try it all!

I absolutely loved all of the food we ate while on vacation, but it is definitely nice to be back to home cooked meals, oatmeal and smoothies! 🙂

For breakfast this morning, I finally tried out the porridge setting on my rice cooker.  I have been wanting to try this out for awhile, but finally decided to give it a go after reading more about how delicious your oats turn out from Emily at The Front Burner.  She gives an excellent tutorial on How to Cook Oats in a Rice Cooker, so check it out here!

I followed Emily’s instructions and set up my oats in the rice cooker last night.

Into the rice cooker went the following:

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats (my favorite!)
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • splash vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I set my timer to have the oats ready when I woke up.

It worked!!!

It looked exactly like Emily said it would, a little soupy on top.

But, once mixed, they were perfect!

Perfectly cooked.  I topped my oats with a trio of fun:  chocolate hazelnut butter, coconut butter and raspberry jam.

These oats were delicious!  And, I didn’t need to spend 40 minutes cooking them and watching the stove this morning.  Instead, I woke up to a wonderfully filling breakfast.

These oats held me over until about 11am, when I snacked on a golden delicious apple.

Then, it was time for lunch!

I grabbed something easy today, an Amy’s Black Bean Burrito filled with black beans and veggies.  I like these for days when I don’t have time to pack a lunch.  They are filling and the ingredient list does not include anything scary.

With a few blue corn chips and salsa on the side, and some unpictured grapes.

Mid afternoon, I wanted something chocolaty, so I whipped up a smoothie.

Double Chocolate Smoothie

Serves 2

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 heaping tbsp cacao powder
  • dash vanilla
  • 1 tbsp flax seed
  • 1 big spoonful chocolate ice cream 🙂
  • 1.5 cups hemp milk (or milk of choice)

Mix it up in your blender and enjoy!

It was chocolaty and delicious and hit the spot!

For dinner, I met a good friend at the Cheesecake Factory!  I haven’t been there in awhile and was excited to see that they offer 1/2 portions of salad now.

Still pretty big, but delicious.  I ordered a salad special with romaine, orange slices, pears, pecans, dried cranberries, feta and balsamic.

Have a great night!

tour of seattle, wa

Monday morning, we were up bright and early in search of donuts that our friends had told us about!  Yup, that’s right…we hit up a donut shop a few blocks from the hotel.  I’m not sure when I last ate a donut and now I remember why!  They look and taste great, but afterwards you don’t feel so hot.  Oh well, we’re on vacation!

I ordered the chocolate maple and Brant ordered the bulls-eye

Check out the size of that Bulls-eye!  No wonder we felt sick!

After our donuts, we took a much needed walk around downtown to see the area when it was less crowded.

Seattle Art Museum

We decided that donuts were not a good breakfast, so we headed to a small cafe for a real breakfast after our walk!

Bacco was packed and the menu looked great!  Everything from fresh squeezed juices to oatmeal to egg sandwiches to pancakes.

I started with a juice that was made right in front of me at the counter – grapefruit, lime and kiwi.

And, ordered a big bowl of oatmeal with banana and dried cranberries.

Delicious!  Just what we needed.

The rest of the day turned our cloudy and drizzly – perfect for a driving tour of the city and all of it’s neighborhoods!  We met up with Brant’s cousins who live in Seattle and they spent the day taking us on a tour of their city.  It was so nice of them to take us in for the day and so awesome to get to see things that we normally would not have seen!

Seattle is made up of a lot of different neighborhoods, all still considered part of the city.  There is Downtown Seattle and Seattle Center, but there are many other neighborhoods as well, including Ballard, Capital Hill, Wallingford, Fremont, etc.

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We were everywhere!  We say so many views of the city and got to check out the differences of each neighborhood.

View of the city from Queen Anne

University of Washington Fountain (on a sunny day! – source)

Ballard Locks

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The Ballard (Hiram M. Chittenden) Locks sit in the middle of Salmon Bay, part of Seattle’s ship canal.

From the website:

The locks and associated facilities serve three purposes:

  • To maintain the water level of the fresh water Lake Washington and Lake Union at 20 to 22 feet above sea level.
  • To prevent the mixing of sea water from Puget Sound with the fresh water of the lakes.
  • To move boats from the water level of the lakes to the water level of Puget Sound, and vice versa.

The complex includes two locks, a small (30 x 150 ft, 8.5 x 45.7 meter) and a large (80 x 825, 24.4 x 251.5 meter). The complex also includes a (235-foot, 71.6 meter) spillway with six (32 x 12-foot (3.7 m), 9.8 x 3.7 meter) gates to assist in water-level control. A fish ladder is integrated into the locks for migration of anadromous fish, notably salmon.

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Unfortunately, it was rainy while we were at the locks and we only saw a few salmon, but it was really fun to see the process!

We had an awesome day of sightseeing!