Sunday Pancake Brunch

For some reason Sundays seem to be made for pancakes. Yesterday was no different. I love using unconventional pancake recipes, and since my mother accidentally picked up some flavored Chobani Greek yogurt at the grocery store (I usually eat plain Fage Greek yogurt), I decided to try this recipe for Greek yogurt pancakes. Finally I managed to follow the recipe precisely–and it paid off! I made four small pancakes, and I added blueberries to the mix once they were in the pan. Afterwards I topped them with banana slices and syrup. Yum! I was impressed by how dense and filling this meal was. Greek yogurt pancakes = new Sunday tradition.

After brunch, my mother and I headed out to do some grocery shopping. My family doesn’t usually shop at Whole Foods because the vast majority of their products seem to be ridiculously overpriced (“Whole Foods, whole paycheck”). However, yesterday my mother and I decided to make an exception and check it out. We ended up with a few products that are harder to find in regular grocery stores like our local Market Basket.

I was excited to finally find chia seeds for overnight oats (second time’s the charm?) and flax seeds that I will hopefully add to smoothies.

Vegetarian lentil soup! Can’t wait to try this.

Dates because even though they look gross supposedly they’re yummy? And I really want to try this recipe.

Essentials from Market Basket: my beloved Greek yogurt, almond milk, and tofu.

I somehow managed to convince my mother to buy this. Usually protein powder is so expensive but this tub was only $9.99 at Market Basket. Score!

After a quick Whole Foods trip, my mother wanted to stop at Chipotle, so I decided to go for it and order my current fave–a burrito bowl with brown rice, a small portion of black beans, fresh tomato salsa, guacamole, roasted chili-corn salsa, and romaine lettuce. It sounds like a lot of food but it’s meatless so I actually always end up eating the entire bowl. I washed it down with unsweetened ice tea garnished by a ridiculous amount of Chipotle’s fresh lemon wedges.

 Do you have any Sunday traditions?



Portabella Veggie Hummus Sandwich

Tired of my usual fruit-based meals, I decided to incorporate some veggies into tonight’s dinner. I cooked a portabella mushroom as well as some chopped red onion (I’m a sucker for the portabella mushroom + red onion combo) in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. I also toasted two slices of whole wheat bread and smeared garlic basil hummus on each. After the mushroom and red onion bits were done, I slapped it all together, along with tomato pieces, to create a yummy, nutritious sandwich. I find that portabella mushrooms are very flavorful alone, so the combination of hummus and mushroom was even better. I ended up using only half of the mushroom cap in the sandwich (portabella mushrooms can be so huge!) but noshed on the other half after dinner.




Somehow I managed to drag myself out of bed before 8 today (a Saturday morning! crazy). Pre-workout fuel was a leftover chocolate oatmeal breakfast bar from yesterday. Usually I can’t eat anything before a run, but I didn’t even regret that breakfast bar during my 6.2 mile run followed by 50 sit-ups. However, I did regret skimping on pre-run hydration–even at 8:30 this morning, it was a scorcher! Definitely my thirstiest run in a long time.

Last night I attempted¬†this recipe for overnight oats. It was one of the only recipes I could find for overnight oats that didn’t require plain Greek yogurt (I could only find flavored Chobani in the fridge). I didn’t have chia seeds, so I had to alter the recipe a bit. This is what I ended up using:

1/2 cup Quaker Oats oatmeal

1 cup almond milk

2 tablespoons cocoa

a dash of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon almond butter

1 bananaImageI combined everything besides the banana and almond butter in a container and let it sit in the fridge overnight. However, I didn’t realize that without Greek yogurt or chia seeds, there wasn’t anything to make the mixture expand. It makes sense, then, that this morning I opened the container to find a soupy brown substance.ImageI was pretty disappointed that my overnight oats seemed to be a complete flop. In an attempt to salvage them, I stuck the container in the microwave for what ended up being about 2 minutes. The mixture solidified significantly. It was much thicker and chewier, but the taste wasn’t great. I think I may have used too much cocoa? Still, I stirred in some almond butter. I also sliced up a banana, put the pieces in the freezer for a couple minutes to chill, and then stirred them into the mixture.

The oats were much yummier with almond butter and bananas, but something still tasted funny–almost bitter? Next time I’ll definitely make sure to use Greek yogurt or chia seeds and less cocoa powder.

Fitness-wise, I’ve been thinking about my goals for August. I want to finish Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred series (only 5 more days left on Level 3!) and get started on her 6 Week Six Pack video. Hopefully my abdominal muscles have improved since my last 6 Week Six Pack attempt, when I only lasted for about 10 or 15 minutes of the workout (granted I tried the video in a fit of post-workout spontaneity).

Other goals: improve my flexibility (I’ve been meaning to start doing yoga), and maybe run a 10K. I’m also thinking about how I will continue my vegetarianism during the school year–I’m determined to make friends with the salad bar!

What are your August plans?

Chocolate Oat Breakfast Bars

Woke up early this morning eager to try this recipe for breakfast cake! I’m not usually big on baking (more of a stovetop or microwave oven type of girl) but warm cake in the morning sounded too good. Julie’s recipe calls for 2 packets of oatmeal- I used Market Basket Brand Weight Control Maple & Brown Sugar flavor. Instead of skim milk, I added 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (only 20 calories!). Rummaging through my cabinets for Splenda or some type of sweetener, I found a tin of cocoa powder and suddenly couldn’t resist the idea of chocolatey breakfast cake. Instead of adding sweetener to the mix, I used two tablespoons of the cocoa powder and one tablespoon of cinnamon. I had planned on cooking the mix in a muffin tray, but realized that all the muffin trays were packed away and sealed in a moving box! Oops. Instead I used a small bread pan, so I wound up with breakfast bars. The batter was pretty yummy and chocolatey before I put it in the oven, but the final product was less sweet and tasted a bit more like oats. The bars definitely would have benefited from some added sweetener- maybe I’ll try honey or even some peanut butter next time? Chocolate chips would probably be delish, but I’m not sure I could eat that much chocolate at breakfast without guilt. However, to sweeten up the bars this morning, I frosted them with some almond butter (Barney Butter) and washed my breakfast down with a glass of almond milk. Altogether, a pretty nutty meal, but yummy nonetheless! The breakfast bars were slightly bland without the almond butter, but they seem to make good pre-workout fuel. They’re also a healthier, more natural alternative to granola bars or protein bars. I snacked on them this afternoon and hopefully they’ll help me power through my squash workout this evening.

My chocolate oat breakfast bars

I ate 3x the serving size for breakfast- a filling 12 grams of protein!

For an early lunch today, I stopped at Bruegger’s Bagel in downtown Andover with my mother as we were running some errands. I was initially hesitant to order anything, seeing how carb- and calorie-heavy bagel shops can be, but I decided to indulge and order the Leonardo da Veggie sandwich on a whole wheat bagel. Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato, roasted red peppers, red onions, and light herb garlic cream cheese- yum! Such a satisfying lunch. I was pleased to find out that it was around 500 calories or so.

I also had to make an purchase today, providing an opportunity to buy the PB2 I have been lusting after for so long! PB2 is an “Add-On Item” on Amazon calls it, so it ships for free with any order over $25. Luckily my order was about $35 so it qualified. I can’t wait to try this low-cal, low-fat peanut butter alternative. It might be a good way to spice up my oatmeal bars.

I admit I might be addicted to reading and trying Julie’s recipes from Peanut Butter Fingers. Her recipe for chocolatey overnight oats sounds great! In fact, her blog is making me hungry . . .