Baked Oatmeal- up with the moon, out with the sugar

Some days are perfectly lovely. This week early in the morning, we were able to enjoy the lunar eclipse.

I had zero awareness it was this week. My little two year old, however, was awake at 4am, and my husband said from under his covers, ‘there is a lunar eclipse…’ With that we turned our early morning lemons into lemonade and bundled ourselves up to go outside and watch the moon.

Before venturing out though my husband brewed some coffee over the chemex, and I thought ‘hey, there’s enough time to bake the oatmeal,’ and I set out to find a recipe that didn’t use sugar.

Here’s the thing, so many recipes say they’re ‘sugar free’ and they are quite literal about it- while there may be no sugar, there is honey, or molasses, or agave. While each is unique and precious, when my goal is to eliminate minimally nutritious carbs, those sweetners aren’t much better than sugar.

So I decided to improvise.

For mine:

1/2 mushy banana
1/3 cup unsweetned applesauce
1 egg and 3/4 cup egg whites, whisked together
1 cup oats
1/2 a medium to large apple, cubed
Pumpkin spice to taste
Dash of salt

Combine the egg mixture with the applesauce, banana, pumpkin spice and salt. Add in the oats and apple.

We baked ours at about 425 for 30 minutes. Cook as long as you need to for a golden hue.

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We watched, huddled in blankets, as the earths shadow covered the moon and turned it red. My son delighted at seeing stars, and the moon, and we stamped on the earth as he thought about it casting a shadow, just like he does.

We then enjoyed our baked oatmeal with a bit of almond butter and yogurt. Truly sugar free, since honestly life is sweet enough already.

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Did you catch the eclipse? How do you make your recipes slightly healthier, what subs do you make?

XOXO

Quick Beef and Wild Rice bowl

Besides the magical microwave, the crockpot is my easy healthy cooking weapon of choice.

You pretty much ignore it and it does everything else!

And it does well with approximations, so you dump stuff in and cook it till you want to eat. My toddler can prep that!

So for today’s bowl I threw in:

1 cup mixed red, brown and wild rice
16oz 99% lean grass fed beef
1 onion
A bunch of water
1 can tomatoes
1 bag frozen broccoli
Garlic Salt up the wazoo
Oregano

And I let that baby roll all day. The rice just grows, so does everything else. So when you go to eat it, it feels like loads of food!

This made about 6-8 servings, depending, so plenty of happy easy left overs.

I put a handful of fresh spinach under mine to wilt, and to add just a bit more veg. Then I topped it with crumbled mushroom, some of my mean homemade salsa, and fresh avocado. And more garlic salt. Lol.

Do you use the crockpot? I love how easy it is to control the quality of ingredients and how wonderfully low maintenance this whole process is.
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You can mix all kinds of goodies in there and the crockpot will work it out for you!

Have a great day!

XOXO

Cumin Roasted Chickpeas (good as potato chips!)

Chickpeas roasted in olive oil my friends taste just as decadent as any potato chip, but do so much more for you.

Fiber, heart healthy fats, vitamins. Get the picture? Just mind the portions 😉

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1 can chickpeas

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1/4 cup olive oil

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smother in garlic salt

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and cumin

broil them in the oven for 15-20 minutes, till desired crunchyness is achieved.

My dear son loved playing with crispy crunchy balls, and oh boy, were they good.

Unfortunately I was a dork and don’t have a pic of the final product 😉

XOXO

Quick Salad

I aim to eat as nutrient dense as possible, even when bulking, aka, adding muscle 🙂

Sometimes you wanna ration your fat grams and might want to spend them on something other than the oil for your salad, as good for you as it might be to eat that oil.

The solution? A garbage salad!

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chicken, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/2 small avocado, tbl fresh hummus, lots of salsa, spritz of vinegar, garlic salt, over a bed of fresh spinach

mmmmmmm

Leaving me room for avocado aaaaand a Halloween trader joe joe 😉

Do you trade your calories, save here to splurge there?

Do you enjoy salads?

XOXO

What to Do, Leftover Fruit??!

My eggwhites and oats are just not complete without toppings.

I love toppings.

Yes, it’s like a thing for me. Toppings. Maybe it’s growing up in the age of self-serve frozen yogurt shops, but it just makes eating egg whites and oatmeal something fun, like making an ice cream sundae.

So what happens when our fruit gets old? Well, a quick compote of course!

And I mean quick.

My cooking took a distinct turn when I became a mom. I use the microwave all the time.

Munchie never wanted me to put him down so cooking was a challenge to say the least. I tried nursing and stirring- not great results…

So I embraced that enemy of the slow cooking foodist and microwave almost everything. 🙂

Today I had pluots and apples that were a breath away from a sour moldy death. That’s too many pennies wasted for this stay at home mom, thank you.

So I chopped them fruits up, tossed them in a bowl, and ‘sweetened’ ’em up with some raisins and dried mango.

Microwaved that baby for like 6 minutes, stirring every couple.

And here I have a lovely compote, pie like topping for my oats. And no food waste.

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I know ZERO about canning, so I can’t say how safely or longly or howeverly to preserve something like this. I know between my yogurt today and my oats tomorrow this stuff will be gone by the time you read this. 😉

Enjoy!!

XOXO

Salsa!

I crave salsa like some folks crave candy. It’s true!!

After all, I was born in Tiquisia (aka, Cost Rica, aka Paradise). As a result, I’m super picky.

I’m most usually disappointed by the mediocre stuff I find at the store. It just doesn’t cut it. Bland, flavorless, blahness great for making chips soggy, and that’s about it.

There’s nothing like fresh made pico de gallo to get the flavors bright fresh and right. My salsa has to taste of sunshine, beaches and cilantro.

Friends, take the 20 minutes to make a fresh pico de gallo.

For mine I did:

equivalent of 10 Roma tomatoes (basically I used a bunch of different kinds of tomatoes found in our fridge)

3/4 red onion

1 cup cilantro

3 cloves garlic

1 jalapeño

juice of 2 limes

2 tsp garlic salt

2 tsp cumin

salt ! lots, to taste

Dice the tomatoes and onion.
Finely dice the jalapeño, keeping the seeds, and the garlic.
Chop the cilantro.
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Then combine the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, garlic salt, cumin, and lime juice.

If you’re lucky enough to have Lizano salsa at hand, you can add a dash of it to the mix for true Tico flavor.

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Tastes good right away or after sitting an hour!

Use within a day or two 😉

This is a big batch because I like to just spoon the stuff right into my mouth! Or I dip celery and cucumbers. Or throw it on top of eggs, salads, steamed veggies, or anything else. Or just eat it by the heaping spoonful.

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Of course, it goes great with tortilla chips too :).

¡Buen provecho!

XOXO

Big Portions- Low Calories, Thanks Popsugar!

Here’s the articles title:
42 Healthy Dinners, All Under 500 Calories.

So good so far.

But as you check out the recipes, they are big on fiber and protein, and therefore big portions!

Big portions+ low calories?? Um, yes please!

I love to eat- part of why I’m a bodybuilder 😉

So I’m pretty much dancing as I scan this article. Lots of options for meals that are quite filling, without filing you out.

Thanks popsugar!

Enjoy!!

Oh, and a little posing practice- it’s too cold to do it in a suit! #bodybuilding #winterinseptember? #sweatpantsareforever

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Fast Fudgey No Bake Cookies

Sometimes I want chocolate stat.

But there is none to be found! And with reason- I tend to enjoy my cookies in batches rather than servings 😉

One of my all time favorite cookies comes from my mum. They’re these amazing peanut butter chocolate fudge oatmeal no bake cookies. Her recipe joined our family from this tattered Nazarene cookbook she got as a young 1960s hippie.

They’re omg good. She would make them in large batches, always bite-sized and plentiful in Tupperware. They were the go-to cookie
I’d bring to school or sports or social functions. We rarely returned with a crumb.

One of my hopes as a mom, as a human being I might say, will be to learn all of my mums unique and delicious recipes. She has this gift for making things just so. I don’t think Id feel I’d done my job as a mum myself unless my son also took these cookies for granted, as a given, a gooey piece of love like a chocolate hug showing up on his plate with predictable and pleasant regularity.

To make a whole batch is easy- I promise, I’ll show you how, very soon!

….But maybe not the best idea when I’m trying to cut down. You see, I’m also pretty health conscious, and having the full sugared and buttered versions around all the time may not jive with some of my other goals as a mum.

But to have one? Or maybe two? Now that’s something I can work into those macros. Phew! Chocolate ahoy!

I also polished it up a bit- made my microwave version a touch ‘cleaner.’ I still use sugar because I am having a cookie, but not a ton. Ya know, you could prolly use less than I do- cut down to 1/2tbl if ya like. Then you can feel extra good sharing these with little ones, or, if it’s been a bad day, by all means, it’s all yours.

They are just scrumptious. Healthy or not. And huge.. You could eat the whole serving at a solid 280calories- which I what I did for my 6th meal of the day- or still enjoy one (still ample!) at 140 cals. Because of the peanut butter and oats, they are quite satisfying- satiation achieved!

Ready?? Let’s go!

Fudgey No Bake Cookie in Minutes

1 tbl sugar (or sweetner of choice)
1 heaping tbl cocoa powder
Dash of salt
2 tbl apple sauce (or mushy banana- may need extra milk if using banana)
2.5 tbl milk of choice (I used almond)
1 tbl peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dry oats (or cereal of choice- crushed up graham crackers is awesome!)

1. Combine sugar, cocoa and salt in a mug or bowl

2. Add apple sauce, milk and peanut butter, and combine well-ish

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3. Microwave for 60-90 seconds, stirring once. This is the ‘fudge-making’ part. You want the ingredients to get to a bubble and to cook there briefly, bubbling and becoming cocoa peanut butter fudge. But you don’t want it to burn.

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gotta test that fudge!

4. Remove from microwave, stir the fudge, then stir in vanilla and oats.

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5. Form into either 1 larger or cookie, 2 smaller ones, or even 4 tiny ones. So I made three bowls of ours since everyone wanted some- lol- could have just made a regular ole batch 😉

6. You can either eat it warm and gooey, or throw it in the fridge for half an hour, or the freezer for 15-20 minutes.

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these gooey lovelies are ready for the fridge!

Yummm!

Best part?? You can eat the whole darn batch if you want! I did!

280 calories . Boom.

Let’s all cheer, “Hooray!! Hooray!! Hooray for chocolate!!”

Pregatini, or Sparkling Cranberry Mocktail

I was pregnant, it was summer, we had no air conditioning.

And I felt like a genius.

The pregatini!

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Za Recipe:

1 cup Sparkling Water, preferably lime infused (mine was raspberry-lime)
1 cup Coconut Water
Splash of Cranberry Juice
Lotsa Ice

Give that baby a lil stir! Shake it, baby mama! (Errr or daddy, for your especial lady)

If you’ve got limes or lemons, throw in a few slices, for zing!

These days we’re abounding in mint outback, so I’d prolly toss in a few leaves.

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What’s great about this little mixer is that it’s:

Alcohol free! Great for pregnant gals, calorie counters, folks not interested in getting buzzed for whatever reason, and yeah, bodybuilders.

But it feels oh so refreshing and oh so fun!

Plus it’s got coconut water- which has potassium and salt, making it a mild electrolyte replenishment.

If you’re preggo and sweating, that’s good news!

It’s lite on calories.

And the cranberry adds just a little something more. Did you know cranberry is said to be good for the digestive track?

When all is said n done it’s about 70 cals for a tall frosty glass 🙂

Maybe you can mix this up tonite! I mean, it is Saturday!

Enjoy!! And glow, mamas, glow!

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XOXO