limbo.

Some like it cold…

Verry Berry Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed flax
  • toppings: sunflower seed butter and Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a mixer and top with your favorite add-ons!

And some like it hot…

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 small/medium apple, diced small
  • 1 cup milk + 1/4 cup water
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp. crushed flax
  • toppings: walnuts and Natures Path Pumpkin Flax Granola
  1. In a large dish, microwave all ingredients together for 5 minutes, stirring once halfway through.  Top with your favorite add-ons!

Me?  I haven’t really decided yet.  The weather isn’t officially feeling like spring.  But it doesn’t quite feel like winter either.  Yep.  Here in New England, we’re in a serious state of limbo.

QUESTION: What have you been eating for breakfast?

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breakfast and a bowl of soup

So—well—I kind of lied.

Breakfast did start with ‘p.’  And it did end in ‘umpkin.’ 

But there were oats involved too.  I have nothing more to say, other than I simply couldn’t help myself.

Breakfast Bonanza, Day 3: “Pumpkin Pie Smoothie”

Pumpkin is perfect for smoothies.  Where frozen bananas supply the frothy sweetness, canned pumpkin gives you that creamy, indulgent texture.  They’re really a match made in smoothie heaven.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Don’t be afraid to add the oats!  Some people don’t like the texture of raw oats in things, but the blender does a fine job of grinding them up into a texture that’s similar to oat bran.  This whole grain addition gives you fiber, nutrients, and energy for a busy morning. 

(p.s. Have fun with the toppings!)

  • 1/2 c. regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 banana, frozen and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and a splash of vanilla
  • toppings: sweetened coconut, Trader Joe’s apple cranberry butter, walnuts

Blend everything together, except for toppings.  Pour into a large bowl, top with your favorite of things, and enjoy each delicious bite!

~~~**~~~     ~~~**~~~     ~~~**~~~

Today was a very productive day.  I cleaned.  I set up appointments that needed to be set.  I ate.  I completed many homework assignments.

I made a pot of soup.

I know I’ve stated this before (probably more than once,) but it deserves repeating.  If your recipe calls for chicken, beef or vegetable broth and you don’t have your own homemade version on hand, buy this broth base!

The name says it all: “better than bouillon.” 

I’ve never tried their beef base, but I’m a huge fan of the chicken and veggie.  The flavor is as close to homemade as I’ve yet to find.  Way better than bouillon cubes or cans. 

As much as I love whisking things, I also love simmering soups.  Who  needs therapy? 

Once the vegetable soup was simmering long enough to cook the barley, I added in some crushed tomatoes…

…and white beans.

This soup was such a quickie to throw together.   Ready in a matter of minutes (about 30, to be exact…even less if you had a batch of cooked barley or brown rice on hand.) 

The rich tomato flavor was a lovely reminder of being welcomed home with hot tomato soup after playing outside all day long.  It warms you, heart and soul.

Tomato Vegetable Soup (serves 4-6)
Idea taken and tweaked from a Taste of Home cookbook

Veggie soups are one of my favorite autumn eats.  This tomato soup takes on more veggies and protein than your typical tomato soup version might, giving you more nutrition per bite. 

I ate my hot bowl of soup with toasted honey wheat bread.  But I’m thinking that a grilled cheese sandwich would make this meal perfect and complete. 

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 c. vegetable broth (preferrably low sodium)
  • 1/4 c. uncooked barley
  • 1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 cans (15-oz. each) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (28-oz. each) crushed tomatoes
  1. In a medium pot, saute onion, carrot and celery in oil until crisp-tender.  Add garlic, saute 1 minute longer. 
  2. Add broth, barley, Italian seasoning, and pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  3. Add beans and tomatoes, simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
  4. ENJOY!

Question: What do you consider to be the perfect autumn meal?

Tomorrow is *Day 4* of the Breakfast Bonanza.  If you haven’t started yet, that’s okay!  You can jump in any time.  Just let me know what breakfast(s!) you want to include on the breakfast post for next week.  Even if you want to throw just *one* breakfast into the mix, go for it.  And, most of all, have fun! 😀

going green

Eating outdoors pretty much rocked my morning.  I love summer. 😀

 

 Into this bowl, went:

  • 1/2 c. raw, uncooked oats
  • 6-oz. yogurt mixed with 2 T. crushed flax
  • 1 orange, peeled and diced
  • small handful of raisins
  • cinnamon & nutmeg

I never would have thought of adding oranges and raisins to my “un”overnight oats.  But since it was the very last fruit in the fruit bowl, I decided to throw it in. 

It was good!!

 

 Morning Snack: Slice of homemade whole wheat banana bread and a cup of milk

 

 I pumped out 4 miles of running today.  I felt really good, and that’s partially due to the fact that I took yesterday as an “off” day.  Yes, I still did some yoga.  But I left my running sneakers (and bike) alone.  Rest days are a big part of staying healthy, injury free, and strong, despite being one of the more overlooked components to training!!

Lunch

There was a packet of this sitting in the back of my pantry…

Front:

Back:

 

 I’ve had mixed emotions about Amazing Grass.  Some of their products have left me wanting more, while others have made my mouth feel like a big peice of chalk.  But this one in particular, I kind of liked (although not as much as the original blend, surprisingly.)  If you really want to try them out, I’d recommend you pick up a couple of different flavors and see which one you like.  That being said, I still feel that eating the real food is always your best bet, for both nutrition and flavor.  😉

Into the blender:

  • 1 c. frozen blueberries
  • 2 c. beet greens (from the garden!!)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 packet of Amazing Grass
  • 2 prunes
  • toppings: 1/2 c. raw oatmeal, dollop of almond butter (kind of similair to breakfast, no?)

The prune didn’t blend in with everything else, and I was surprised with two chewy prunes at the bottom. :mrgreen: 

I’d say, if you’re used to eating green smoothies, try beet greens!!  But if you’re a newbie, just wanting to test the waters, spinach is probably still your best bet.  You can taste the beets in this. 😉

 

 Afternoon Snack: kashi heart to heart, raisins, coconut, milk

 

 Dinner

I don’t know what came over me.  What is it that possessed me to turn on the oven in the summer?  I’ll tell you what.  It was the thought of a roasted, caramelized tomato soaked in balsamic vinegar.  Brussels sprouts, roasted until golden and crisp.  Mushrooms, all wrinkled, shriveled, and puckered up.

It’s enough to make a girl swoon.

If you think I’m getting a little carried away, you’re probably right.  But I’ve been deprived from roasted vegetables for a while now, and this is the result.  I needed to have my fill.  And that is why I turned the oven on.  In the middle of summer. 

Totally necessary!

 

 Into a 425 degree oven (this was all split between two people) for 10 minutes:

  • 1 package of brussels sprouts, halved and tough stem removed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Once the 10 minutes was up, I added the following to the same cookie sheet and cooked for 10 more minutes:

  • 4 mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced thin
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 c. kidney beans
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar

And topped with feta.  Voila.  Dinner was on!

The lettuce got all wilty from the hot vegetables which I loved!!  But if you’re not really into that kind of thing, the roasted veggies taste amazing chilled as well.  Heat up some extra and you’ll have lunch for the next day as well (this is great on top of rice, quinoa, flat wraps, etc.)

Dessert: cherries and strawberries

Off to chillax with a new book: Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

I finished The Story of Edgar Sawtelle last week.  Even though I loved the journey through the book, I was so, so, so disappointed by the ending.  Seriously.  I almost threw the book across the room in frustration.  If you read it, you probably know what I’m talking about. 😉  I’m hoping Vanishing Acts has a slightly better ending to it, but Jodi Picoult definitely knows how to spring surprises on her readers as well.

Question: Have you ever tried adding greens to your smoothie?  What kind?  Did you like it?