Breakfast · Oatmeal · Snacks

“Glo Bar” Granola Bars

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Lately I’ve been struggling to find a morning snack that works for me. I’ve had problems tolerating dairy in the past and they seem to have returned in full force, so yogurt and granola has been cast to the side. I tried protein bars like Clif or Luna bars, but they put so many unnecessary additives in them and have so much added sugar that those didn’t sit well either.

I bought the Oh She Glows cookbook a few weeks ago and when I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a try. These are really quick to throw together and they don’t require any baking, just a chill in the freezer and they’re ready to go. Plus, they don’t have any funky additives and give you energy from real, whole foods. Of course there is some sugar in the form of brown rice syrup, which is an incredible binding agent, but if you use a nut butter with no added sugar then the syrup will be the only added sugar in the recipe.

I think it would be really easy to change out the nut butter and seeds in this recipe and make it your own. Go ahead and give them a try!

“Glo Bar” Granola Bars

Servings: 12

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup rise crisp cereal
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup sunbutter (or nut butter of your choosing)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions: 

1. Mix the oats, rice cereal, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, sesame seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt together in a large bowl.

2. In a small saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup and sunbutter until it just beings to bubble and is well combined. Don’t let it bubble too long or it will start to burn on the bottom of the pan! Add the vanilla extract.

3. Pour the syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. It will get sticky!

4. Pour the mixture into a 9×9 pan lined with parchment or wax paper. Press mixture down with wet hands. Make sure it’s packed well.

5. Place pan in freezer for 10 minutes, or until bars are hardened. Remove from pan using the parchment and cut into 12 squares. You can store these in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

 

Breakfast · Dessert · Life · Snacks · WIAW

WIAW: Not My Typical Dinner

Hello and welcome to my first “What I Ate Wednesday” post! This is something I have been wanting to do for a very long time but I honestly just haven’t had the time. Wednesday nights are not the best for me to post because my small group from church meets and typically we get done a little later and I go straight to bed. I toyed around with the thought of doing a “Food Friday” post or a “Meal Monday” or something like that, but I realized that all my days have the potential to be busy and I need to just choose one and commit!

So here we are!

Even though Wednesdays are usually a later night for me, I realized that they have the potential to be my most exciting eating day of the week. My tribe (which is what my church calls small groups) typically meets around 6 pm and we always start with dinner. We have a theme each week and everyone pitches in to contribute something to the meal. 

Tonight was salad bar and ice cream bar.

I was really excited because I bought lunch at work today and actually remembered to take a picture (woo!) and then realized once I got to tribe that I was basically going to be eating ice cream for dinner. As an RD I would like to be a role model for those around me- ice cream for dinner may not be the best way to start!

I want this blog to be real though. Yes, I am a registered dietitian. No, I am not perfect. Sometimes I eat too much ice cream at dinner. 

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Breakfast: My breakfasts are pretty standard. I eat an English muffin with some kind of nut butter before I leave for work. I drink my coffee on my commute so that I’m ready to go when I get to the hospital. This meal only holds me over for a few hours, so my morning always includes a snack since we don’t meet for lunch until 12:30.

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Mid-morning Snack: Lately I’ve been snacking on vanilla Greek yogurt topped with fresh strawberries and some granola. I used to buy the individual yogurts but none of the ones I like have been on sale lately (Tillamook Greek marionberry flavor = heaven in a cup), so I’ve switched to this for the time being. The Greek yogurt usually does a good job keeping me satisfied until right before lunch.

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One thing I immediately loved about the RD/DTR team at the hospital I’m working at is that they all eat lunch together. As an intern this gave me a chance to get to know everyone and now as an employee I see how important it is because it gives us all a chance to de-brief if we need and ask for a little extra help if we’re feeling overwhelmed or offer help if we’re nearing the end of our list. 

The cafeteria at the hospital is amazing and today they were serving chicken quesadillas made to order at the grill. Now, I know I’m trying to be vegetarian and all, but this baby was calling my name. The quesadilla was stuffed with cheese, fajita veggies, chicken, corn salsa, and pickled jalapenos and served with salsa, guac, and sour cream. It was delicious, messy, and it filled me up!

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Afternoon Snack: I ended up leaving work early because my patient list was super short today, no one else needed help, and I’m having some sort of allergy problem right now and my red, itchy eyes were drawing too much attention! I normally pack myself a snack for the drive home but today I ended up snacking once I got home. Banana, peanut butter, and a small glass of almond coconut milk. Yum!

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Dinner: As I said earlier, our theme for dinner at tribe tonight was salad bar and ice cream bar. I topped my pile of lettuce with corn, ham, garbanzo beans, carrots, croutons, avocado, and a french vinaigrette dressing. My salad was about half gone when I finally snapped this photo, I promise I ate more!

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And this is my weakness: ice cream. Admittedly, I took too much. But I honestly rarely indulge like this and once in a blue moon is not going to make or break my overall eating. Also, this chunk of ice cream is not as massive as it looks, it was flat and perched on the smaller scoop below.  

I think it’s important to remember that once in a while it’s okay to totally fall off the wagon and eat a shameful meal. The important part is to move on, get back on the wagon, and resume a healthy eating schedule after. Tomorrow I don’t work so I’ll do a morning work out and eat normal meals. I won’t try to compenstate for this calorie bomb of ice cream by restricting my intake or exercising twice as much. I’ll acknowledge that this was too much ice cream and move on. 

Eating healthy is all about balance.

Chocolate · Oatmeal · Peanut Butter · Snacks

Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

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I made these energy bites a few weeks ago and although they were really tasty, I had a problem with them falling apart really easily. I had used puffed rice cereal and probably not enough honey and they ended up a crumbly mess.

I really liked the way they tasted, so I decided to make them again and use old fashioned oats this time….and enough honey.

These are a great portable snack and great for a little sweet fix in the afternoon!

Chocolate Chip Energy Bites

Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped pretzels
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. (This step is important — it makes the mixture easier to shape.)
  2. Remove and shape into small 1-inch balls, or press into the bottom of a parchment-lined baking pan to make granola bars.
  3. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

You could use different nuts or dried fruits if you have them or add some peanut butter chips in the mix to make them extra peanut buttery!  Just make sure you use enough honey so they stick together….there is nothing worse than a crumbly mess that these turn into when they don’t stick together!

 

Breakfast · Muffins · Snacks · Strawberry

Strawberry Muffins

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I realized that it’s been a very long time since I’ve made muffins and since strawberries are now in season these seemed like the perfect muffins to make!

After being sick for 5 days I finally had more energy and was so anxious to get back into the kitchen and make something!  Unfortunately, when I made these I still had hardly any sense of smell and very little sense of taste.  I couldn’t smell them baking, but I was told that they smelled good!  I also couldn’t really taste them at first, but they are delicious, I promise.

Go find some juicy, ripe strawberries and make these yummy muffins!

Strawberry Muffins

Recipe from Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped strawberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
  2. 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. 3. Peel the bananas and mash with a fork. Place the mashed bananas in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, coconut oil, egg, Greek yogurt, and vanilla extract. Stir until well combined. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped strawberries.
  4. 4. Fill muffin liners three-quarters full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack to cool. Store, covered, at room temperature.

 

Chicken · Food Network · Sauce · Snacks

Buffalo Chicken Bites with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

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The Super Bowl is obviously not complete without lots of yummy food and even though I didn’t have any real interest in either team playing I was still on board to watch the game and enjoy some snacks! Sunday afternoon I put these together and took them to the Super Bowl party I attended and by the time I left they were all gone.  If you like buffalo sauce, you have to try these at some point, they are so delicious!

I bought the Pioneer Woman’s A Year of Holiday’s cookbook before Christmas and she has a section for the Super Bowl in it!  I found this recipe there but tweaked it a bit because a) I wasn’t going to fry chicken on my electric stove and b) I wasn’t going to fry them anyways.  So I baked them.  Obviously these would be really good fried (because who doesn’t like popcorn chicken) but they were also really great baked! It’s really the buffalo sauce that makes it.

Buffalo Chicken Bites with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

BLUE CHEESE DIPPING SAUCE

  • 1 cup low fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 5 oz blue cheese crumbles
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

CHICKEN BITES

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 12-ounce bottle beer
  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

SAUCE

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 12-ounce bottle cayenne pepper sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot)
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Direction

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Make the blue cheese dip by combining mayonnaise, sour cream, blue cheese, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and buttermilk in a bowl.  Stir together until well combined.  Add a little more buttermilk to get the desired consistency, if desired, and then cover and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready for it.
  3. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Pour in the beer, whisking as you go.  Keep adding until the batter is somewhat thin but still thick enough to stick to the chicken.
  5. Cut the chicken into 1 inch pieces.  Add them to the batter and then toss them around.
  6. Arrange coated chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, rotate, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  7. To make the sauce, combine the butter, cayenne pepper sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt it together, whisking to combine.
  8. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and pour on the sauce, tossing the chicken to coat it well.
  9. Arrange chicken back on the baking sheet, with new foil, and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes to seal in the sauce.
  10. Serve them with celery stick and the dipping sauce!

Hope you’re all staying safe in this crazy weather!

Breakfast · Chocolate · Muffins · Oatmeal · Pumpkin · Snacks · Vegetarian

Low Fat Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

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If there is one thing I’ve never been good at, it’s making muffins, cupcakes, cookies, etc a uniform size.  So when I decided to make muffins I knew I would inevitably end of with one massive one and one puny one.

Can you find them?

I never fail…

Anyways, muffins are probably one of my favorite things on the planet.  I don’t make them often because when I do it requires a large amount of self control not to eat them all in a few days.  How could you not love such a perfectly portable snack?

I have also been craving pumpkin everything (Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream is to die for) so these muffins seemed fitting.

No more difficult than any other muffin and with a few healthy substitutions 🙂

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Original recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened all-natural applesauce
  • 1/2 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, plus 2 tablespoons (I used minis and they melted into the muffins nicely)
  • Extra oatmeal, for sprinkling on muffins

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 12 muffin cups with paper cups or spray with nonstick spray. If you use muffin cups, make sure to spray the inside of the cups.
  2. In a large bowl mix flour, oatmeal, pumpkin pie spice baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl combine pumpkin, mashed banana, brown sugar, almond milk, egg whites and applesauce. Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full so that each is even. Sprinkle a tiny bit of oatmeal over each top of the muffins. Place into the oven and bake for 23-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffins comes out clean. Muffins are best served warm.

Anytime I use banana in a baked good I refrigerate it because of a breakfast cookie molding incident I had in the past….so refrigeration is suggested by me.  Do as you please, but you have been warned!

These are hearty and chewy and perfect for a sweet afternoon snack!

Hope you enjoy!

Breakfast · Oatmeal · Snacks

Gingerbread Protein Breakfast Bars

So far, the meatless month as been a success.  This is day 8 and I’ve discovered that I’m not really craving meat and most of my close calls with almost eating it have simply come from me forgetting.  Luckily I haven’t had any real goofs!

Anyways, a common issue with vegetarians is a lack of protein in the diet.  For me, personally, meat has never been my main source of protein.  Especially with the large amount of running I’ve done in the last 6 months I’ve really started to utilize other protein sources, including protein powder, and I’m always on the lookout for recipes where I can add it in a boost up my protein for the day.  I’ve found that breakfast cookies are by far the easiest way for me to do this but I started to get burnt out of the ones I had been eating.

So the search for something new commenced!

I began browsing the archives of the blogs I frequent and came across this recipe on Peas and Thank You.  I have one of Sarah’s cookbooks and really enjoy reading it and hearing the stories about her family.  Unfortunately, she is taking a hiatus from blogging, but I know I will still use her blog/book as a resource for yummy vegetarian recipes!

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These bars are perfect for a quick breakfast before I leave for work at 5:30 AM.  I usually eat two breakfasts, one at that time and one at 9 AM when I take my first break, so I like to keep Breakfast #1 light and it has to be something I can eat while I’m packing my lunch and making my coffee.

Gingerbread Protein Breakfast Bars

Original recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, protein powder, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine applesauce, molasses, vanilla and milk.
  4. Add applesauce mixture to oat mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Pour mixture into baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until bar is set and pulling away from edge of pan.
  6. Allow to cool completely. Cut into squares. Store remaining bars in the fridge.

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Admittedly not the most appetizing picture, but these bars are really good, I promise!

Servings: 8

  • Calories: 133
  • Total Fat: 1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 180 mg
  • Total Carbs: 25.4 g
  • Sugars: 11.2 g
  • Protein: 6.1 g