Thursday, August 29, 2013

And Here We Jump on the "Zeggs" Bandwagon With Peanut Butter and Blueberry "Zeggs"

Move over Brangelina.  Not so fast, Jayonce.  Step away from the spotlight, ....ummm...KiKanye?  There is a hot new pairing in town!

If you haven't heard of them yet, be prepared for the most fascinating, possibly strangest, yet utterly fantabulous couple yet - Zeggs!  Nope, they aren't eggs from a zebra, nor are they zesty eggs (although you probably could make them that way!); these are zucchini eggs!  I know what you are thinking - "what the heck?"  That was my first reaction. 

Zeggs, or basically oat-less porridge, have been populating the Instagram and Pinterest feeds of foodies across the world, so naturally, I had to give them a shot.  Thank baby Jesus that I did, because they were honestly surprisingly...good, not to mention ridiculously filling for the entire MASSIVE, and I repeat...MASSIVE, portion.  After literally 7 bites (nice big, gloppy spoonfulls), I stopped, stared at my bowl in bewilderment, and pondered over how to finish this entire bowl...but I did because I like to eat and my mouth dangerously leads the way. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wednesday's Weekly Welldoers


It's the middle of the week, and I'm already feeling the weekend more than ever.  I'm not sure if something is in the air or what, but everyone around me seems like they need a break.  With all the negative energy and tenseness floating around, sitting down to reflect on feel-good moments full of helpfulness, compassion, friendliness, and joy from the past week sure helps to lighten the mood!

Immunity-Boosting Overnight Matcha Oat Pudding Breakfast Bowl

It's the middle of the week and I don't know whether it's the weather, air quality, or what combined with a few things that haven been going on with me, but I've just been feeling a little draggy and sluggish.  To boost my immune system and keep me going, I made a nutritious, antioxidant and vitamin-rich Overnight Matcha Oat Pudding Bowl for breakfast.  Rich in vitamins A,C, and E, fiber, protein, antioxidants, omega 3's, healthy carbs, and a ton of other health-boosting ingredients, this breakfast bowl is a perfect pick-me-up for the middle of the week, not to mention fast and easy (and a pretty green color)!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 Situations That Shouldn't Cause Stress


Unfortunately, stress is a common entity in households all around the world; it seems that almost everyone is stressed out these days.  Uncontrollable situations that cause money problems, health issues, accidents, demanding work schedules, etc., all contribute to our tension.  What we forget to realize is that some uncontrollable situations really aren't that bad; these situations do not warrant  freaking out, yelling, swearing, or crying.  What marks these types of unwanted situations from ones that truly justify some sort of reaction is that they are not going to create much of an impact on our lives.  While we should refrain from stressing out for mental and physical health reasons, we are human, so we most likely will become aggravated, discouraged, and upset at some point.  Lower your stress levels, or at least do not raise it, by making a big deal of the following situations:

Monday, August 26, 2013

Monday Morning Munchies - Ciao Huevos: The Italian-Mexican Egg Bake

Sometimes...who am I kidding...many times, I scavenge my refrigerator and put together whatever random ingredients I have in there.  Yes, I do love finding new recipes and using unique ingredients that I don't typically have sitting around in my house, especially when I get a random craving for something, but constant grocery purchases can lead to both an expensive grocery bill and an over accumulation of a ton of various foods in the fridge.  This usually makes my refrigerator look like a Polish, Asian, American, Italian, Mexican, Everythingian explosion...emphasis on the explosion.  What better way to clean up the fridge (and to prevent waste!) than by combining flavors and ingredients from different cultures! After all, culture-specific dishes occasionally include ingredients and ideas that were first introduced to the country through the trade routes long ago (did you know Marco Polo brought the idea of "pizza" to Italy from his Chinese journey?).

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nutty Peaches 'n Cream Yogurt Bowl

Good Saturday morning and happy weekend!

For everyone who is intimidated by cooking in trepidation of making mistakes or failing at a recipe, you never know when a mistake or failure can turn into something delicious! Yes, today my breakfast "failure" might not be so drastic that it could have possibly turned out inedible (after all, the texture was the only component that strayed from my desired goal), but it still didn't turn out how I had originally planned it to.  Nevertheless, it was delicious!  Numerous times, I've had my own recipes and concoctions turn out differently than I had originally expected or even completely flop to where it was basically inedible (my first time using dried powdered ginger...definitely don't put in 2 full tablespoons in a relatively small dish...), but these little shortcomings haven't stopped me yet!  As the famous saying goes, you learn from your mistakes...oh the truth in that!  I do think some people just have a knack for cooking, baking, and combining ingredients, but with practice, failing, and trying again, anyone can become a better cook!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cold and Creamy Cantaloupe Pumpkin Soup - Perfect For This Late Summer, Early Fall Weather

As I am still on my late summer, early fall kick with an ever-growing obsession with pumpkin...it's getting pretty bad now, hence the pumpkin cup...I made an Autumnish inspired breakfast soup well suited for this very hot late summer day!  The sweet, refreshing summer taste of cantaloupe melon compliments the hearty, subdued nature of the pumpkin, and cinnamon spices things up a bit.  If you don't have the time to eat this dish as a soup, feel free to throw it in a travel cup and drink it up as a smoothie (just eliminate the nutty oats or blend them in...no choking, please!).

Thursday, August 22, 2013

COCSY Parfait - Coconut Oatmeal, Chia Seed Pudding, and Yogurt Parfait...or Maybe CSYCO Has a Better Ring to It...

I had a MASSIVE craving for coconut oatmeal even though I had never had it before...I honestly have the most bizarre cravings - what does that mean about me?  Instead of making a traditional bowl of oats, I was feeling artsy this morning and decided to jazz it up a bit.

Chia seeds are incredibly healthy for you; they are full of antioxidants, protein, fiber, and Omega-3's.  When combined with liquids, chia seeds turn into an interesting-textured pudding that's light and has a slight crunch! Crunchy pudding you say? I swear, it feels so much better on your tongue than it sounds.  To maximize on these healthy ingredients and to satisfy my craving, I made this very refreshing (and pretty if I do say so myself) parfait.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Egggggscellent...Healthy Peanut Butter Eggwhite Fluff

For all those egg-haters who want or need to incorporate eggs into their diet, there is hope!

A while back, my doctor instructed me to add eggs into my diet for their healthy fat.  Note: Eggs, the whole yokey egg, is HEALTHY.  I now enjoy my eggs scrambled or as omelettes filled with vegetables (I still can't touch them runny or gooey), but at the time of my instruction, I immediately cringed at the thought.  I had not touched plain eggs (besides those baked in cookies, cakes, brownies, all the good stuff...) since I was around 10.  The taste, smell, texture...they all made me cringe, so I desperately needed to find a creative way to incorporate those lovely little breakfast ovals of protein.  

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oats Bowl

I love oatmeal. I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, second breakfast, halfsies...I think you get my drift...at least I know Pippin does if he is reading this.  However, I mainly stick with my oats for breakfast.  While at work, I don't get to eat lunch until quite a bit of hours after I have my breakfast, so naturally (at least for me!) I get a tad bit hungry quite soon...once again, I know Pippin understands how I feel at least.  This is why I need to make my oats nice and filling!

Protein, healthy fats, and good carbs are all needed to keep you nice and full, and this Pumpkin Peanut Butter Oats Bowl is filled with all three!

Wednesday's Weekly Welldoers


Wednesdays are bitter-sweet days of the week; half of the work or school week is already over, but there is still another whole half to conquer before the weekend.  Since everyone can use a little pick-me-up to get them armored up for the work-week battle, every Wednesday, I want us to take a little time to reflect on the past week, concentrating on helping.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ten on Tuesday - 10 Ways to Move a Little More

With all the new methods of transportation, technological gadgets, and space-age machinery readily available at our fingertips, our society is becoming more and more accustomed to being lazy and not moving. Especially in America, we tend to drive everywhere and find pure enjoyment from sedentary activities such as watching TV or surfing the internet. It is pretty much common knowledge that exercise and movement keep our bodies healthy, promote weight management, and reduce stress levels. However, coming from a sedentary lifestyle and jumping into a serious, full-on exercise regime can prove to be rather difficult; you may become too tired the next day or unmotivated with the lack of instant results. What many of us don't realize is that you can start out slowly at a pace that is comfortable for you. By slowly turning around your sedentary life into a more active one, you will become aware of how much you move during the day; this awareness will motivate you to make a conscious effort to move more often. Once you start moving just a little, you will eventually build up your stamina, allowing you to exercise with a little more oomph!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Morning Munchies - Baked Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin-Apple Oatmeal

Nothing starts the week off better than a yummy, satisfying breakfast!  Every Monday, I hope to give you all a delicious yet healthy breakfast recipe to keep you filled and happy.

Monday is my Sunday, so I get the chance to make something that requires a little more effort or time.  For about a week, I've been waiting to try this idea out, and I definitely was not disappointed!  While this breakfast does require a little baking time, it can be made the night before and simply reheated in the morning.

Once again, I was inspired by this late summer, soon-to-be-fall weather (probably because last week felt like fall over here!).  Baked Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin-Apple Oatmeal for one is a healthy, nutritious breakfast that warms your soul and simply makes you feel good.  The slightly sweet, spicy smell of apples and cinnamon will also fill your kitchen, comforting and relaxing you when you sip a cup of coffee or tea while waiting for breakfast to be ready! If you want to make this for the whole family, just multiply the ingredients by the number of mouths you will be feeding.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Spanish-Inspired Rice

I am always hungry. Even when I'm not actually hungry. DANG MY LOVE FOR FOOD!

While I'm at work, I tend to get the munchies, especially when the day is going by ssssslllllooooowwwwwllllyyyyy, so I made a nice, filling rice dish that will be full of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.  To keep yourself full and to properly obtain all the important nourishment your body needs, you need a combination of all of these meal components.  Paired with grilled chicken breast, this rice dish provides a delicious and satisfying meal that will keep you full, even when the time for you to eat your next meal, aka dinner after work, seems to take forever.

Twist Your Thoughts...Be Conscious of Your Reactions

Have you ever noticed that when you are feeling sad, angry, upset, depressed, frustrated, the list of negative emotions and feelings continues, you start to pay attention to everything negative?  In actuality, the day is probably going by relatively normal; you just have yourself in such a rut that you twist every action and event to fit your mood, crappy.

Sit back and imagine this scenario.  You are having a bad day; perhaps you failed a test, got yelled at by a boss, or broke your favorite heirloom.  During the afternoon, you take your dog for a walk down the sidewalk outside your home when you suddenly trip over a crack in the cement.  "$&*# @!_#%**# $(*&% WHY DOESN'T ANYONE FIX THIS DANG CRACK?!" Every obscenity floods your thoughts; this day just must be the worst day you've ever had.  Why can't your dang dog walk itself? Why do you even have a dog? They are so much extra work. You spend more time on your dog than yourself, which is why your dog has a beautiful flowing tail while your hair hangs bluntly over your eyes, blocking your vision, which is probably why you tripped.  It's all your dog's fault!

Balsamic Pear and Asparagus Salad

Since time seems to escape ever so quickly, I know a lot of people, including those who pre-prep meals for the week, prepare the same foods for multiple days.  This method is especially useful for those who are die-hard healthy eaters or calorie counters, as the same type of food is measured and accounted for.  I don't know about you, but eating the same thing day after day is just too boring for me.  I love food...all different kinds...and I tend to have numerous different cravings, so I need a little variety in my life.  Heck, it makes the week more exciting, too!  I already spend too much of my free time cooking, so finding ways to make a variety of foods as quick as possible is essential for my foodie lifestyle.  Combining vegetables and fruits in various salads and sautes is not only fast and healthy, but it also allows for a little creativity and happiness for the taste buds!