Protein Poptart

One of the most unhealthy things I used to eat often as a child were poptarts.  I loved the brown sugar cinnamon flavor slightly warmed in the toaster.  Now I don’t eat these for many reasons: they aren’t gluten free, they aren’t vegan, they contain high fructose corn syrup and tons of other ingredients I can’t even pronounce!

Protein Poptart

I have seen recipes before that I want to try to make a healthier poptart using a gluten free grain; however they always looked like so much work so I never actually tried.  Then, I discovered this recipe where you use a brown rice tortilla as the “pastry” and all you have to do is mix together the filling!  These are so much healthier, use real ingredients, and are packed with protein!

Protein Poptart 4

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (I used Sunwarrior)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tortilla (I used Food For Life brand)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl mash the banana.  Stir in protein powder, cocoa powder, and almond milk.  (You may need to add more almond milk if the batter is too dry.)
  2. Spread filling in the center of a tortilla and fold like a burrito.
  3. Spray a pan with non-stick spray.  Over medium-high heat cook tortilla about 2 sides on each side, or until lightly browned.

Protein Poptart 3

If you want a frosting on your “poptart” I just mixed 2 tbsp of peanut flour with 1 tbsp almond milk, a dash of sea salt, and a pinch of stevia.  I mixed it all together and spread it on top after cooking.

These “poptarts” are great for a filling breakfast to keep you going until lunch or to enjoy after a workout!  Also, you will never get bored with these poptarts because you can try so many different variations.  In the filling you can keep or omit the cocoa powder, try adding different kinds of nut butters, try different fruits or a mixture of fruits, add flavored or unflavored yogurt, or change up the frosting recipe.  The possibilities are endless!

Protein Poptart 2

This recipe (without frosting) yields approximately 255 calories and 12g protein.

This recipe (with frosting) yields approximately 315 calories and 20g protein.

Creamy PB&J Oatmeal

Today’s post should be the Buckeye Pie that I made for Christmas dinner, and it was absolutely delicious and very rich, but I found another version online that is very similar, yet slightly healthier.  So I want to try that version as well and then post my favorite recipe so that I can make it again to my liking.

Even though I am not posting the Buckeye Pie, today’s recipe will still feature the secret ingredient from the buckeye pie – silken tofu!  Lately I have been making a lot of chocolate pies that require silken tofu and then I have extra tofu that needs to be used within 3-5 days.  Sometimes I would make a smoothie with the leftover tofu which would make it super creamy!  But then I had a genius idea!  What if I added some silken tofu to oatmeal!?  Silken tofu is supposed to make super creamy smoothies and desserts (like mousse and puddings) so why couldn’t it be added to make creamy oatmeal!?  After giving it a few tries, I knew I must post this recipe.

Creamy PBJ Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flax milk
  • 1/2 cup GF rolled oats
  • 3 oz silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 5 -8 strawberries (or 1 tbsp strawberry jam)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 5 drops vanilla stevia (or other sweetener)

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired texture.
  2. Pour into a mason jar and allow to sit for at least one hour or overnight.
  3. Top with banana slices and crushed peanuts, if desired.  This can be eaten hot or cold.

Creamy PBJ Oats 3

Not only does silken tofu make this oatmeal super creamy, but it adds a nice bit of protein!  I want to try some other variations as well.  Like Peanut Butter and Banana – add 1/2 mashed banana instead of the strawberries.  Or may try other fruits blended in and added as a topping.  There are SO many possibilities!

Creamy PBJ Oats 2

This recipe (without toppings) yields approximately 405 calories and 16.5g protein.

Orange Ginger Broccoli

I haven’t posted the rest of my Christmas Eve dinner and it has been almost a month since Christmas!

Christmas Day 13 Menu

Today I am posting this Orange Ginger Broccoli.  It is a recipe that is super easy and quick and gives broccoli a different taste rather than the way I typically just roast it.

Orange Ginger Broccoli

This recipe was adapted from Appetite for Reduction:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Saute the ginger in the oil for about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute.  (Add a splash of water if things are sticking to the pan.)
  4. Add the broccoli, mirin, and tamari.  Saute for about 7 minutes, tossing frequently, until the broccoli is tender.
  5. Add the orange juice and saute for one minute.  Serve.

Orange Ginger Broccoli 2

If you’re trying to eat more greens, or already do but want to eat them with a different flavor, I highly recommend this recipe.

Christmas Day 2013:

 

Mushroom and Spinach Potato Gratin

Now that I have posted all the recipes I made for Christmas Eve 2013 dinner, let’s move onto some meals I made for Christmas Day 2013 dinner.

Christmas Day 13 Menu

The main meal for the family was the Field Roast.  But since that wasn’t gluten free, I made the Baked Beans & Greens I made last year for my main dish.  For a starchy side dish, we also had this delicious Mushroom & Spinach Potato Gratin.  It was a great side with tons of healthy ingredients.

Mushroom Spinach Potato Gratin

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 4 russet potatoes
  • 4.5 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 11 oz baby spinach
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (about 2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup vegan cheese*
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and spray a 13×9 inch casserole dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Steam spinach and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute mushrooms until tender.
  4. Stir in garlic and thyme.  Remove from heat.
  5. Clean potatoes and slice to about 1/8 inch thick using a food processor.
  6. Assemble: Layer 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the pan.  Squeeze moisture from spinach and layer on top of the potatoes.  Layer 1/3 the cheese,  1/3 potatoes, mushroom mixture, 1/3 cheese, 1/3 potatoes, and 1/3 cheese.
  7. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  8. Cover with aluminium foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove foil.  Bake for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and start to brown.

*For the vegan cheese we used a mixture of 1/2 Parmesan cheese and 1/2 Nutritional Yeast.  If you want more of an actual “cheesy” flavor, try using Daiya cheddar cheese (this is what we are going to try next time.)

For a layered casserole, this recipe wasn’t too difficult at all.  It doesn’t take long to prepare everything and after that it is just layering everything.

Mushroom Spinach Potato Gratin 2

Christmas Day 2013:

2014 Books

January 2014:

  1. Candy Cane Murder by Joanne Fluke. 3 out of 5 stars.
  2. Allegiant by Veronica Roth. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover. 3 out of 5 stars.
  4. No Meat Athlete by Matt Frazier. 5 out of 5 stars.
  5. Angels by Marian Keyes. 5 out of 5 stars.

February 2014:

  1. Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. 2 out of 5 stars.

March 2014:

  1. Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson. 3 out of 5 stars.
  2. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. 4 out of 5 stars.

April 2014:

  1. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. 4 out of 5 stars. (I didn’t care for the ending).

May 2014:

  1. Spin by Catherine McKenzie. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman. 3.5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Arranged by Catherine McKenzie. 5 out of 5 stars.

June 2014:

  1. Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. 3 out of 5 stars.
  2. The Bake-Off by Beth Kendrick. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. First Love by James Patterson. 5 out of 5 stars.
  4. Where She Went by Gayle Forman. 3 out of 5 stars. (I liked the ending).
  5. Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews. 5 out of 5 stars.

July 2014:

  1. The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Unprocessed by Chef AJ. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green. 5 out of 5 stars.
  4. After You by Julie Buxbaum. 5 out of 5 stars.
  5. Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella. 3 out of 5 stars.
  6. The Daily 5 by Gail Boushey & Joan Moser. 5 out of 5 stars.
  7. The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. 5 out of 5 stars.

August 2014:

  1. Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Becoming Raw by Vessanto Melina & Brenda Davis. 4 out of 5 stars.
  3. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson. 4 out of 5 stars.
  4. The Life You’ve Imagined by Kristina Riggle. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  5. Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews. 5 out of 5 stars.
  6. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. 5 out of 5 stars.
  7. Mistress by James Patterson. 4 out of 5 stars.

September 2014:

  1. Something Blue by Emily Giffin. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham. 4 out of 5 stars.

October 2014:

  1. The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella. 4 out of 5 stars.
  4. The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder. 5 out of 5 stars.

November 2014: 

  1. Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Catch Me by Lisa Gardner. 4 out of 5 stars.
  3. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner. 5 out of 5 stars.
  4. Four by Veronica Roth. 5 out of 5 stars.
  5. PS I Love You by Cecelia Ahern. 5 out of 5 stars.
  6. The Death Cure by James Dashner. 5 out of 5 stars.

December 2014:

  1. Thinking of You by Jill Mansell. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Home Front by Kristin Hannah. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. The Gift by Cecelia Ahern. 4 out of 5 stars.
  4. The Worst Noel by various authors. 2 out of 5 stars.
  5. Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  6. Life of Pi by Yann Martel. 4 out of 5 stars.

Total Books: 50

2013 Books

January 2013:

  1. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. 1 out of 5 stars.
February 2013:
  1. Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot. 4  out of 5 stars.
  2. Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot. 4 out of 5 stars.

March 2013:

  1. Limitless by Alan Glynn. 1 out of 5 stars. (I liked the movie so much better and the movie wasn’t even that great.)

April 2013:

  1. MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. 3 out of 5 stars.

May 2013:

  1. Certain Girls by Jennifer Weiner. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner. 3 out of 5 stars.

June 2013:

  1. Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
  3. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L James. 5 out of 5 stars.
  4. And Sometimes Why by Rebecca Johnson. 2 out of 5 stars.

July 2013:

  1. A Dog’s Journey by W. Bruce Cameron. 5 out of 5 stars. (Just as good as A Dog’s Purpose)
  2. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. 5 out of 5 stars.
  3. My Beef With Meat by Rip Esselstyn. 5 out of 5 stars. (Great Information)
  4. It All Began in Monte Carlo by Elizabeth Adler. 4 out of 5 stars.
  5. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
  6. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick. 5 out of 5 stars.
  7. Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess. 5 out of 5 stars.

August 2013:

  1. Must Love Dogs by Claire Cook. 4 out of 5 stars.
  2. Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter. 2 out of 5 stars. (This would have been a 3 or 4 rating, but endings of books can totally make it or break it for me and I hated the ending of this book!)

September 2013:

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth. 5 out of 5 stars.

October 2013:

  1. Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James. 5 out of 5 stars.

November 2013:

  1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. 5 out of 5 stars.

December 2013:

  1. Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James. 5 out of 5 stars.
  2. Take a Chance on Me by Jill Mansell. 5 out of 5 stars.

Total Books: 25

Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Almonds

The only meal I haven’t yet posted from my Christmas Eve menu is the Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Almonds.

Christmas Eve 13 Menu

I wanted to try the recipe again making changes from the original recipe to better suit my taste.  On New Years Eve, it was the perfect opportunity to try this side dish out again.  Once again, everyone loved this dish.  Actually, even better with these new changes.

Brussels Apples Almonds

This recipe was adapted from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shredded Brussels sprouts (you can buy these already shredded at Trader Joe’s or Wegmans)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup almonds

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add shredded Brussels sprouts, stirring occasionally, and cook until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the other tablespoon of olive oil, the lime juice, and mustard and mix together. Set aside.
  4. Once the Brussels are tender, remove them from the heat.  Stir in the dressing, apples, and almonds and mix until everything is evenly coated.
  5. Pour into a bowl and serve.

I made this about 10 minutes before eating and ate it at room temperature and it tasted great.  I also have eaten it straight out of the fridge, cold, and it still tasted great.  I’m sure these would even taste good heated in the microwave.

Brussels Apples Almonds 3

I loved having something so nutritious as a side dish for Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.  It was also great that it was super easy to make.  The hardest part was chopping the apples.  I’ll definitely be making this again for a side dish any day of the week, not just holidays. And this dish can easily be doubled and would be perfect to take to a potluck!

Brussels Apples Almonds 2

Christmas Eve 2013 Dishes: